Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to catch up with family and eat as much as possible. It is also one of the best shopping times of the year. Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably spedn the weeks leading up to Black Friday jotting down which stores to hit after the Grand Turkey dinner. Before you wobble over to camp out at Best Buy, Target or your nearest shopping mall make sure to do some extra planning that will save you time and keep you warm.
I don't know about you, but whenever someone mentions "Black Friday", something similar to this image pops into my head:
How scary is that?
A lot of people. Rushing all at once into the store with only one intention – to buy all the gifts for everyone they know all at once.
Let's face it, Black Friday shopping can get pretty nasty. Everyone wants the best deal they can get and don't really care about the other hundreds of people around them looking for the same exact deal. To nobody's surprise, this mentality can cause pretty stressful situations.
What can you do to make Black Friday be a more enjoyable experience? Part of launching anything major is planning, planning and planning. Try and apply the 80/20 rule to your Black Friday shopping spree. Spend 80% of your time planning, thinking about strategies and tactics for the big night, and 20% of your time actually being in the battlefield.
With everything so accessible on the internet these days, there is hardly a need to go line up right after Thanksgiving dinner, with the exception of store only deals. 70% of the deals offered in stores can also be found online, sometimes even cheaper if you buy through Amazon. However, if you absolutely have to physically go to the battle zone after Thanksgiving dinner, here are a few ways to improve your shopping experience:
Visit the stores a few days before Black Friday
Try to scout the places your plan to shop on the day before Black Friday. Most stores will begin to prepare their store layout in anticipation of the Black Friday crowd a few days beforehand. The point of this reconnaissance is two fold. One, you can figure out what the store will potentially look like on Black Friday. This way you have an advantage and can easily navigate your way around the crowds of people. Two, speak to the employees and ask if they will be working on Black Friday. Knowing someone on the inside might just help you get the item you want. This ties into another point in a few paragraphs.
Prepare by laying your clothes out the night before
How long does it take for you to get ready for a night of shopping? Lay out comfortable shopping clothes before you head to bed on Thursday night. That way all you have to do after you wake up is put your clothes on and head out of the door. A bonus would be to put your keys, phone, wallet and shopping list on top of your clothes. That way you don't waste time looking for your essentials.
Know your own clothing size and the sizes of your family
While the best deals during Black Friday are generally electronic gadgets like HDTV's and laptops, clothes are usually at least 40% off. Get a list of your families' clothing size beforehand so you don't waste time trying to decide between a medium and large.
Don't bring small children or strollers
Please don't bring your kid to Black Friday. Small children can easily get lost in the crowd. Children will only slow you down and disrupt others. Especially after reading horror stories of Black Friday shoppers, I wouldn't want to bring my kid with me.
Be extra nice to the sales people
A couple of years ago, Thanksgiving was actually all about spending time with family. Black Friday has changed that. Walmart just announced they will be having 1 million employees working Thanksgiving day to keep up with shopper demand this year. I'm sure many people that work on Black Friday would much rather be with their family. Instead of shouting orders at them, try being nicer and actually using elementary school taught manners.
Use your smartphone
Check out the App Store or Google Play for apps that will help you with your Black Friday shopping. These apps can compare prices on different websites, locations, and keep track of your shopping list. Instead carrying around a list either in your head or pocket, use the technology that you've always had – your phone.
If you liked this post, check out our other organization posts here. Make sure to keep an eye out on our follow up post - How to Hide the Gifts You Bought During Black Friday.
Photos provided by: Digitaltrends