Doing your homework pre-Black Friday is the best way to cash in on savings opportunities. Wondering how to set your early morning schedule, how much time to give yourself at each store and what tools are available to keep track of store deals? We're here to help you create a Black Friday plan of attack.
Many Black Friday ads are leaked ahead of time. Scan leaked ads and make a list of the items you want at each retailer. Then write down the store hours. Create a schedule by listing the stores beginning with the retailer that is opening their doors first. Use a free tool like The Black Friday app to get easy access to current Black Friday ads as they're available.
Shop the Week Before
Can't make it to Target early enough? Shop the week before. According to WCNC you can take your receipt to customer service on Black Friday (which will hopefully be dead) and get a price adjustment. Keep in mind that retailers like Sears and Best Buy don't allow Black Friday price adjustments. And some doorbuster items may not be stocked on the shelves the week before, but it's worth a shot if it frees you up to score deals at other retailers.
Make it a Team Effort
You want a TV at Wal-Mart, a Blu-ray player at Target and some tools at Sears. But how can you manage to score the hottest deals at each location? Some Black Friday pros create shopping teams. They'll share their wish list with friends or family members and each tackle one retailer. That means fewer stops, but just as many deals.
Designate a "Runner"
If you want to limit your time at each store, designate roles for each person to play. As soon as the doors open, one member of your group can head to the checkout lanes, holding a spot in line. The others serve as "runners," grabbing items off your pre-determined shopping list. This is a great way to limit your time waiting in line at a certain store so you can get on to the next shopping destination.
Hire a Body Double
Hit a snag in your Black Friday schedule? Have two stores you wish you could hit at the same time? Want a spot at the front of the line but don't want to set your alarm any earlier? Hire someone to help. Use a free service like TaskRabbit to employ a Black Friday body double. Last year people all over the country used this service as a way to double their presence on Black Friday (or to ensure a primo spot in line without having to leave their warm bed.) This is a great resource to keep in your Black Friday toolbox.
Black Friday Deals Online
If you miss a deal or show up to a store after the inventory's been snatched, you may not be completely out of luck. Many Black Friday deals are also available through the retailer's website. Volunteers spend the entire weekend updating GottaDeal.com's special list of Black Friday discounts that are available online. And if you're really lucky you may even be able to score free shipping.