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Black Friday Survival Guide

909 Magazine

As an ex-retail employee and a shopping junkie, I feel I can say that there’s hardly a better feeling than getting a great deal, and there’s no better time than the holiday season to find the greatest deals. While the safest and most useful advice I could give you for surviving Black Friday would be to stay home and do all your shopping the following Cyber Monday week, we’ve got a guide to get you through.


city-people-walking-blur-largeTip #1: Skip Thanksgiving

With most major stores, such as Walmart, Target and Kohls opening as early as 6 pm on Thursday, I’ve started seeing smaller families opt out of Thanksgiving celebrations altogether to be first in line. It might just be a good idea to pack a turkey sandwich and some cranberry sauce to go, as each year seems to move more and more towards the beginning of the week. You should plan around the holiday if you intend on meeting with family and friends for a turkey dinner. I prefer to meet up the Saturday before, or after Thanksgiving, as that gives everyone the chance to get their shopping done.


Tip #2: Go Onlineman-coffee-cup-pen-large

You could do your shopping online on Cyber Monday. With internet access becoming a household regular, it’s clear to see why the retail stores have to fight back against the online presence with earlier, and better sales; but I don’t mean shop online, just find the deals online. With websites such as BlackFriday.com specifically dedicated to finding and comparing all the deals that will be available in all the big stores, it’s easy to find the lowest prices available. While you’re online, check the stores price match and return policies. Often there will be a special Black Friday list of exceptions for these policies.


Tip #3: Price Match

While you’re collecting and checking all the best deals, remember that most big retail stores will price match or beat their competitor’s prices and more often than not, they’ll even do it on Black Friday. Make sure to have a copy of their holiday policy changes on hand. Due to the demand and volume of the holiday customers, a lot of retail stores will hire seasonal employees who are not familiar with every letter of their policy and you’ll more than likely end up having to speak with a supervisor. However, paying the lowest price for all your items in one location can be a huge net gain in time and you don’t have to risk the items you’re looking for being sold out somewhere else.


Tip #4: Know the Product

Deals that sound too good to be true usually are. Some big retail stores will specifically stock outdated low priced products that are cheaper by nature.. A product from an unheard of company with faulty parts might not even be worth the “incredibly low price” that you’re spending on it. It’s staggering how many items end up being returned within the first few days after the sale. Do a little research on the brand and quality of the product you plan on getting, and you might come to find that it’s worth the extra money to buy one of the other items on sale, especially if it’s the difference of lasting years instead of days.


Tip #5: Keep the Spirit Alive

There’s a ton of fun and excitement to be had while shopping for deals. It can be a very exhilarating feeling to spend 20% of what you expected on twice as much as you were planning on buying, but always remember that the people you’re out shopping with are people too. The person who bought the last item you wanted, more than likely just wanted to give the best gift they could to somebody that they love. Also, the people working behind the counter and on the sales floor are all there for you instead of being at home with their friends and family, so please be kind to them. It is possible to keep the holiday spirit alive and get the best deal possible. Keeping the holiday spirit alive, and getting the best deal possible are both possible and leave you with a better, warmer feeling in the end.