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How to Prepare Yourself for Black Friday

How to Prepare Yourself for Black Friday
Tanya Sharma

You’ve stuffed yourself to the gills. Your favorite team won the game (…hopefully). You’re all done playing the perfect hostess. Next on the list? Don’t even think about getting hours and hours of shut-eye, because Black Friday looms before you.

This annual shopping event is nothing short of an extravaganza, rife with manic mayhem and more sales than a bargain hunter can probably handle. Whether you’re a novice shopper or an admitted shopaholic, here are some helpful tips to arm yourself with early on that will make managing Black Friday so much easier.

Gather the Troops

blackfriday2Here’s a chance for your nearest and dearest to prove their worth - materialistically speaking, of course. If you have your heart set on a certain item (I’m looking at you, $300 laptop), you aren’t alone. It’s every shopper for themselves on Black Friday, unless you design a game plan with an army of fellow shoppers (read: best friends) who don’t mind doing some dirty work for you. Let’s say said bargain is sold at Best Buy. In the teamwork scenario, each friend situates herself in line at a Best Buy store in the area. It’s smart to stay in touch via text to keep each other informed of your successes (or major misses).

Shop Wisely

Don’t necessarily hone in on a pair of fleece pajamas marked 20% off “just because it’s on sale.” The beauty of Black Friday comes in the form of unlikely discounts - those items that don’t typically go on sale or are higher priced during the rest of the year. Some upscale fashion labels, for example, may offer a coveted Black Friday discount - and only on Black Friday. Make sure you strike while the iron is hot.

Don’t Waste Time

blackfriday4You’re standing in the middle of a crowded store, people rushing by you, their arms overflowing with products. You, on the other hand, are debating between two sweaters. Do not let the frenzied atmosphere around you sweep you up in its current. If feasible, simply purchase both items, make your decision at home and return the unwanted item after the weekend. Just be sure to make note of the store’s return and exchange policies so you don't get stuck with unwanted items.

Shop Online

There is a certain rush of adrenaline that accompanies the madness of Black Friday, but there is also something wonderful to be said about shopping from the comfort of your own home. If large crowds, confusion and general chaos throw you off a little (and who can blame you?), opt for the more practical online shopping method. There are plenty of deals, coupon codes and free shipping opportunities, and you may even score a lucky doorbuster deal online if you check out fast enough.

Apps Are Your Best Friends

Harness the power of technology! There are plenty of Black Friday-specific apps available to download, offering everything from scans of advertisements to coupons to alerts that keep you abreast of what’s about to sell out. Some apps even allow you to comparison shop. These apps come in handy while you’re out on a mission for a particular product, too; simply enter it into an app and you’ll find out who has it for the best price.

What to Wear

blackfriday3Black Friday lines are like the red carpet of the shopping world - you need to be dressed appropriately. Since it will likely be cold, your garb should reflect those conditions without weighing you down too much. After all, you’ll probably be encumbered by heavy bags by the time your adventure is over, and will no doubt heat up pretty quickly once you are inside the store. Layers, such as a puffy vest over a long-sleeved top, are key to your comfort.

Safety First

By now, we are all familiar with the unfortunate side of Black Friday. Don’t allow yourself or your loved ones to become statistics! Stay safe and avoid the adrenaline-fueled antics, shouting matches and arguments that escalate over merchandise. Nothing is worth your safety.

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