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  • Black Friday Shopping: 10 Tips You Need To Know!

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    Black Friday Shopping Tips

    The holidays are just around the corner, and with that comes some amazing Black Friday deals. If you’re not careful, it’s incredibly easy to become overwhelmed by all of the different store sales, especially if you haven’t ever gone shopping on Black Friday before. Luckily, we’ve put together some excellent Black Friday shopping tips to help you have an epic shopping experience without the an epic amount of added stress. Let’s dive in!

    1. Start planning early.

    Black Friday ads get leaked weeks and sometimes even months in advance. We’ll post them on the blog here once they are leaked. You’ll want to keep checking for the Black Friday ads here so you know when that happens because the earlier you see the ads, the earlier you can plan your shopping trip(s). Early planning is important because it gives you time to work out everything down to the last detail, which will make your actual shopping experience go as smoothly as possible.

    2. Understand the stores.

    Did you know Walmart hands out wristbands to people waiting in line early for select limited items, whereas Target is first come, first serve for everything once the store opens up? Or what about the fact that H&M (and other stores) offer special promotional discounts of up to HUNDREDS of dollars off to the first set amount of people in line? Add in different store opening times, and you’ve got quite a few variables to work with. Little differences in store promotions and policies like this are important to know because they will affect your shopping scheduling decisions. For example, if you really wanted that H&M credit, you’ll know you need to be there before going to another store.

    3. Know your budget.

    Save-Money

    Creating and sticking to a budget will not only allow you to figure out exactly what you are able to purchase, but also keep you from jumping on any impulse buys. Remember, if you go over-budget on unnecessary extra items, you’re really not saving any money at all.

    4. Divide and conquer.

    When you have one person on your shopping list that wants a specific electronic item available for a great deal at Best Buy, and another couple of kiddos that want toys from Toys R Us, how do you organize the shopping schedule to get them all? What if they’re all equally important? That’s easy: divide and conquer.

    A simple way to do this is to enlist your spouse, or even a close friend or neighbor. Go over all the stores you want to go to and what items you wish to purchase from each. Then, consolidate the lists so that each person takes a set number of stores. On Black Friday, go to your stores while your shopping partner goes to their stores. Circle back after the shopping is done to swap items and settle up on who is owed what.

    5. Prepare a bag.

    There is nothing worse than having to go to the bathroom during Black Friday and discovering that the store’s restroom is out of toilet paper. Trust me: it’s good to be prepared. Pack a bag, like a large zippered purse, ahead of time. I always put these items in mine:

    • A roll of toilet paper
    • A travel-sized pack of Kleenex
    • Hand sanitizer
    • A couple of small snacks and water bottle.
    • Wallet with easily accessible payment card
    • Pen and scratch paper
    • Mini first aid kit (complete with Tylenol or ibuprofen)
    • Room to stash your coat or jacket

    6. Beware of the cheapest electronics.

    Many of the big ticket electronic items are ordered specifically to draw people in on Black Friday. Things like laptops or enormous flat screen LED TVs for hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars less than similar products look like incredible deals. However, most of these are relatively unknown brands created cheaply and ordered for the sole purpose of Black Friday sales. They are typically bare-bones style electronics with little-to-no warranty, nor are they made to last. Skip these items in favor of scoring great discounts on reliable electronics brands instead. Remember, it’s not a deal if you have to shell out money to replace it in six months.

    7. Bring the ads with you.

    Kmart-Black-Friday-Live

    Have copies of the Black Friday ads and bring them with you when you shop. Some stores have a  “Lowest Price Guarantee”. If you can prove that another store is offering the exact same item (brand, model, size, etc) for a lower price, you can politely request that they match it. Most stores suspend their general price match policy on Black Friday, but if you approach it as Lowest Price Guarantee issue, you’re more likely to be successful. And don’t forget to be nice; you catch more flies with honey than vinegar!

    8. Dress appropriately.

    There is nothing that will put a damper on your shopping experience more than trying to race for those deals while wearing shoes that pinch, or sweating up a storm in clothes that are too heavy. Use these tips to dress appropriately:

    • Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking a lot.
    • Dress in comfortable, light layers. It will be cold outside, but warm inside. Having the ability to take off and put back on layers as needed will help you stay comfortable.
    • Make sure your pants have pockets. When you’re trying to quickly get out of one store and on to the next, it’ll save time and hassle to just shove the receipt in your pocket rather than stopping to unzip your purse. You can always empty your pockets in your car.

    9. Don’t bring your kids.

    This seems like such an obvious piece of advice, but I wanted to include it anyway because you’d be AMAZED how many people I see out with cranky 3 year olds at 4 am on Black Friday. Kids are not made for standing in line for hours, dealing with an overwhelming number of people very close to them and rushing from one place to another all while operating under extreme sleep deprivation. They will crash, burn and (generally speaking) make your shopping experience much more difficult when they do so. Leave them at home. Let them snooze and have a quiet morning of fun with their other parent or grandparent(s).

    10. Be in it for the long haul.

    Over the last several years, Black Friday has grown from ONE day to entire six weeks of sales. Really, what we’re seeing now is that sales are starting 2 weeks before Black Friday and running all the way up to Christmas. If you really want to make sure you’re getting the hottest deals possible on the items on your shopping list, you’ll want to definitely pay attention to this Black Friday shopping hack: keep up with the sales for that entire time period.

    The good thing is, we can help you out with that! Instead of checking multiple stores’ websites everyday for deals, just head over to Free Stuff Finder and follow us instead. At Free Stuff Finder, all the deals will be streamlined and organized onto one site, saving you tons of time.

    Other Black Friday Store Guides:

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