Top Ten Tips to Survive Black Friday



Black Friday has slowly but surely moved into Gray Thursday and even earlier for some stores. The following are some tips to help you get through this “holiday” without taking away from the Thanksgiving gratitude you were feeling before you set out shopping.

  1. Make a list for each store and what the prices are supposed to be- Make like Santa and make a list for each store you want to go to and what the deals are you most want to hit.  This will prevent you from forgetting anything once you get into the craziness that you will inevitably face once you get shopping and you’ll know if an item is mis-marked if there’s a price discrepancy at the checkout line.

  2. If shopping as a group, practice DIVIDE & Conquer- Your family/group of friends may see your standing in the middle of the a product filled aisle as “bonding time” but the rest of us see you as being inconsiderate jerks who are taking up valuable walking space to get around your special time that could be done anywhere but the flipping aisle of a busy intersection in the store. MOVE IT.  You all are there shop so divide your group into smaller groups or go as individuals to go to every department you need to hit. This will make it easier for everyone in your group to get everything on your lists anyways so take advantage of your people by making them work as a team in a productive way rather than space-hoggers in tight spaces.

  3. Make your final decisions before you get to the register- The lines on Black Friday can stretch around half the store so it’s not like you won’t have at least a half hour to decide on things you’re feeling iffy about so use that time to make your final verdict so you aren’t holding up the line while you’re at the register. If more people would do this, the line would most likely not be as long or at least would move faster.

  4. Try things on in the store and be prepared to buy them online- If you aren’t sure what size you’ll be for a sale item that you saw in the online ads that are released usually a good two weeks before Black Friday but don’t want to risk it online, go before black Friday to the brick and mortar store and try them on and then you have the freedom to either see how bad the lines are on Black Friday/Gray Thursday and buy it there or you can leave the lines behind and buy it online.

  5. Practice good shopping even if no one else is- Don’t leave your cart in the middle of a busy aisle, keep track of your children at all times, don’t push. You were raised better than this so act like it. If people are rude to you, just let it go. You don’t want to be on the 5pm news that night for getting in a fist fight over rude behavior at the store.  Though this would make a great story for future Thanksgiving gatherings.  Be the kindness that others choose to fail to show.

  6. Take everything you bring into the dressing room out with you- I know you have the mentality of “this isn’t my job so I don’t have to care”, which technically is true but you need to have the mentality of the staff is trying to practice chaos control and the clothes you bring into a dressing room are your responsibility in the end since you were the person to bring them in there. Do you hate seeing a dressing room left with a mess? Do you enjoy knowing you were the person to cause that mess? Don’t be that person.

  7. Don’t act like your special when it comes to dealing with the staff- You don’t get the right to yell at or be rude to the staff. No one gets that right. The staff already would rather be anywhere in the world but dealing with pissed off Black Friday customers so don’t make their jobs harder by yelling at them for something they can’t control.  You missed the very small window to get that discount tv? So? That’s your problem not theirs so don’t take out your anger on them.  Buy a stress ball or some discount plates to throw against a wall once you leave the store but for the love of Pete, don’t take it out on the staff. They’re paid minimum wage to deal with maximum jerk-ness.

  8. Do research on the doorbusters to see if they’re worth their special price- Just because it has a doorbuster price doesn’t make it a bargain if it’s an inferior product or it’s not all that much cheaper than the normal price.  Read the reviews of the product to see how others have rated it and check what it normally goes for. You may not end up wanting that item once you see it got 1 star ratings or is only $20 off the normal price.

  9. Keep track of the prices of your coveted item year-round- This way you’ll know if you can get the item cheaper at some other time of the year or if this truly is the cheapest you’ll get it. Stores are cyclical in how they price things so you may be able to get your item as cheap or cheaper if you buy it in say April versus Black Friday. If you are aware of the normal sale prices you’ll be wiser when it comes to Black Friday sale prices.

  10. Go at an off time if you don’t have anything special you’re trying to get- If you aren’t really in the market for any particular thing or it’s something that isn’t going to be in short demand, go at like 8am on Friday or even later in the morning and you’ll avoid all of the craziness while still getting the deal.  The sales usually go through the entire day on Friday and some even last through the weekend so there’s no pressing need to be there at 6pm on Thanksgiving to get something you can easily get when it’s not busy.  Sleep in on Friday and enjoy the less crowded store when you go at noon.


For the best Christmas gift ideas, click here. For the best Christmas displays in Des Moines, click here.

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