Black Friday Survival Guide

It’s almost here, some deals even start tonight. Are you brave enough to go out on the busiest shopping day of the year? Well if you are here are 10 tips to keep in mind:

1. Create a Game Plan

If you head into the Black Friday without a plan, You will more than likely spend more money than you planned , and you won’t get the deals that lured you in to begin with.

  • Check Out the Ads: Between you mailbox, newspaper and e-mail you should be able to find tons of Black Friday deals. This help you organize your day ahead of time, since many store offer earlybird/doorbuster deals.  Also, decide which stores you’re going to visit, and in which order. If you have your heart set on a door-buster item , make that store your first stop.
  • Do Your Research Before Friday: If you are hoping to scoop up a deal on Friday on a big-ticket item, go ahead and get your research out of the way as soon as possible. Make sure you look up reviews, if you are planning on buying a big ticket item for a good discount, make sure you aren’t sacrificing quality. ( you don’t want to have buyer’s remorse later ).

2. Compare Prices:

Internet shopping sites like  PriceGrabber.com help you in comparing  prices and getting an idea of what’s out there. Compare the “options” included with the product, especially when they are offering bundles. Some retailers will low-ball the advertised price on a stripped down product, and then you will paying for this one way or another.(ie. A discounted printer that need three $50 ink cartridges isn’t really  “a good deal” is it?)

3.  Shop with a list.

This will help keep you focused. Prepare  a list of the people you’re shopping for, and some notes on gift ideas and budget. If not, your shopping day  could end up being  so overwhelming that you might get home exhausted and failed to accomplish your Black Friday mission.

4. Look for Early Bird Shopper Discounts:

The Early Bird gets the worm on Black Friday. Stores offering early-day shopper specials usually run the deals from 5 a.m. until 11 a.m. or noon. Once again, this is why you need a plan. Scoring that door-buster takes plenty of determination and some good luck. Most Stores usually stock just a few of these deeply-discounted items, which means they’re sold out within the first few minutes of the store’s opening. This is why you see all those lines outside BestBuy on Thanksgivings. I suggest calling the store ahead and ask how they will be handling  the door-busters. ( Ie. Some store hand out tickets at a certain time). So if your going to go for it, just be ready.

5.  Pick the right shopping buddy.

This is critical for Black Friday, Two shoppers can hunt down sale items more quickly and increase the odds that you’ll get everything on your list. You need a shopping buddy but you better  think hard about who would get into the spirit of a shopping day like this. As Yuri Baranovsky wrote in a hilarious survival guide to Black Friday, “Taking your lover is like taking a walking argument — just don’t.” It also might be wise to leave your kids at home. So call them today and plan it together.

6.Take advantage of the Internet:

Shop online and beat  the crowds! Shopping online in the early A.M. hours of Black Friday. Not only do many retailers offer online-only deals that you can’t get in the stores, but as early as Thanksgiving Day, they also start offering Black Friday discounts online. Your can also purchase them item online and opt for in-store pickup, save time, get the deal and avoid the crowds. ( here are some helpful shopping tips I found while surfing the web).

7. Bring the Ads:

Many stores offer a “lowest-price” guarantee; take ads with you some stores are still price-matching — even on Black Friday, If they are not price matching, it may give you some bargaining power and push the sales person into waiving other charges such as assembly fees.

8. Know the Store Policies:

Knowing the store policies on returns can help you determine where to buy. Many retailers are including restocking fees and shorter return deadlines. Almost all of the major retail chains have clamped down on requiring receipts for returns and exchanges, and many keep a database of individuals who tend to abuse return policies. If you get onto an “abuse” list, prepare yourself to be turned down.

9. Remember to ask for Gift Receipts:

Save the your gift recipient a headache. Gift receipts usually list a description of the item without disclosing the price paid. Including gift receipts inside the gift box will make returns or exchanges easier. This helps ease the process of returning since many stores may turn a customer down without proof-of-purchase, or risk receiving an exchange for the current selling price of the item.

10. **Safety while shopping***

Just like you love Black Friday, so do criminals. Keep yourself protect by following a couple safety precautions. The number of reports about lost and stolen wallets peak in November and December, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.

  • Only carry those credit cards you’re sure you’ll be using
  • Take just a few checks instead of the whole checkbook
  • leave at home any documents that include your Social Security number
  • Try and take a small purse with a zipper and made of thick material. ( my grandmother’s purse was slashed open with out her noticing a few years ago watch out!)
  • Watch for people getting “too close” (aka shoulder surfers).

* Don’t leave tempting items like bags of merchandise or wrapped packages in plain view within your vehicle. Stow them in the trunk or somewhere else out of sight. Crooks are more likely to break into a vehicle if they can see the potential loot in it.

* Shop smartly. Don’t go alone and if you must shop at night, park your car in a well-lit area, and remember where you parked (so you don’t look like you’re lost and an easy mark).

Hope these come in handy, wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving! Please be safe & happy black friday 🙂

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