8 Tips That Will Help You Have a Successful Black Friday Shopping Trip!

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So this post is a little outside the norm for me, but I have been Black Friday shopping for the last eight years now and have learned a few very helpful tricks. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you plan to join us in line at 3am.

Shop with a friend!

Maybe not a group, but at least one other friend of like mind. There are a few reasons for this:

• Motivation when tired.
• Tag Team. One can stand in line while the others shops. Often times the line to check out wraps around the store and you could be there for hours. It’s best, if you see that when you walk in, one of you gets in line and the other shops. Then, find your friend in line and switch. There will be plenty of time for both of you... trust me.
• Divide and conquer. A couple of times we have gone in a store as soon as they opened their doors and there was only one item we were after. We split the store, find what we need, then get out! We have done Target in ten minutes using this strategy!

Do Not Buy Electronics!!! We have this rule for few reasons....

• Electronics sold on Black Friday are not as well made. Rumor has it, that the TVs sold on Black Friday are made at a lower quality to make up for the price difference. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but that’s what “They” say.
• Too many people are competing for them. The electronics department in all the stores we enter is always packed full of people, and often times this is where problems with fighting and shenanigans happen. I just avoid this all together.

There is one exception to this rule. If you’re at a store that price matches. If the store price matches, it is more likely they will have the item and it would be manufactured at the same quality as normal.

Make a list!!!!!!!

I can't stress this point enough. Be organized. Every year we go through the morning paper find all the items we wish to get and then make a list. We have found the following tips as an efficient way to itemize:

• Sort items by priority. Some things will be more important to you than others.

• If the items are at more than one location, note which stores have the items you want.
• Sale prices. Write down the sale prices next to each item.
• Store opening times. This is important so you will be able to stagger your arrival times accordingly.

If they run out of the item you want, don't buy the next one up. This may just be us, but the joy of Black Friday for us is getting the perfect gift at that insanely low price. I could buy it at regular price any other day of the year. My favorite thing to do afterwards is to come home, show my hubby my loot and make him guess how much I spent. If I over spend, the game isn’t as fun.

5. Research the store’s return policies and price match policies and whether they change for Black Friday. There are a few stores that price match, but not on Black Friday. Then, there are few stores that price match only on Black Friday. This is how you get some of those items that were all sold out and avoid a bit of frustration. It is also important to know what the store policy is for returning items in case you have to take something back. 

Don't Bring Your Purse. I bring a small wallet that fits into my coat pocket, which zips shut. It’s less you have to carry, and less likely to get stolen.

Park in the back. It may seem inconvenient, but it’s a lot easier to get out. If you park near the front you have to fight the throng of people walking through the parking lot. Just remember, it’s early, nobody has had a good night’s sleep. For some people, this means that common courtesy goes right out the window. Also, lock all purchases in your trunk. I would suck if those amazing deals you just scored got stolen.

Bring snacks and your favorite caffeinated beverage. It’s bad enough that you have to stand in line for everything else this morning. You don't want to stand in line to get food too. There are times when you can sit in your car and not in a line. Just make sure to watch the water consumption so you don't have to use the bathroom a lot.

Did I say 8? Well here is an extra one on the house!!!

Be Patient!!!! The lines are going to be long. It is going to be crowded. At least one of the items on your list is not going to be there. At least one moment during the shopping trip you will think, “Why do I even put myself through this?” At this moment in your trip, don't be a jerk!!!!!!! You ruin everybody else’s time around you if you complain about the lines to the store staff, not to mention making everyone else’s wait longer because your taking up employee time to complain.

Now that you have all been armed with the knowledge of a Black Friday veteran, get on out there and take advantage of those amazing deals!

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