I’m sure you’ve heard of shopping tips. I know you may have listed your own invaluable steps to do when shopping for deals and bargains. But Black Friday is the Olympics and World Cup of all shopping days. You need to prepare for it and you need to have energy, stamina, and wit to survive the ultimate shopping day of the year.
What is Black Friday Again?
In a previous article, I wrote what Black Friday is all about. It’s the ultimate sale day and it is the official start of the Christmas shopping season. In the US it is a shopping holiday right after Thanksgiving, In the UK it is the day that has been seen before as the day of parties where the police decided to deploy more EMS so it’s like a “black” operations for them. The name stuck Black Friday because it is also where businesses go out of the “red” or no money into the “black” or where they make a profit.
Around the world, Black Friday is gaining traction because of websites like Amazon whose massive sales on this day are available almost anywhere in the world. You can buy the stuff you normally could not afford like game consoles, pricey mobile phones, super TV sets, cute clothes, gifts for everyone on your Christmas list, and even dozens and dozens of diapers.
Black Friday is the ULTIMATE SHOPPERS dream come to life. BUT YOU CAN’T BE UNPREPARED FOR THIS DAY. When you go to stores on Black Friday you have to be prepared.
Black Friday Checklist
Since Black Friday is the godfather of all sales, you need a lot of energy for it. If you plan to party and have drunk the night before, then you must be prepared to go to the stores exhausted and hangover. On the other hand, if you are a lucky bloke who does not need to celebrate Thanksgiving (because you are in the UK) you can sleep early the night before to have the energy you need.
Some people camp out but I’m not really for this, it seems a bit excessive in the days of the internet!
1. Write down the stuff you want to buy – There are so many stores and you only have 24hrs or less. Some stores have sale extensions but the stuff can run out so you need to list down the things you WANT so that you know what you will buy.
Nothing is more horrible than buying loads of stuff and then regretting it because you did not buy the stuff that you have always wanted to buy. Try to stick to your list and then if you still have extra cash and time, then that’s the time you buy the OTHER STUFF.
2. Do your research – Before the big day, check the prices. Ask the store how much discount you will be getting. You need to know which places give the best deals. Some of them won’t really tell you, but most would. Research past sales so you at least have a point of reference. You can sign up for their twitter feeds because they normally blast out discounts on their pages.
3. Protect yourself – Some people even wear bubble wraps. In places where they drop prices for consoles, phones, TVs, and other high tagged items fights have erupted in the past you need to be like a soldier ready to take on the enemy.
If you really want that Wii or that Playstation or that Apple Phone you must be ready to fight for it. Well, don’t hurt other people! But I mean you need to be ready for other people pushing and shoving. You may be a civilized person who will not shove but others may not.
4. Wear something comfy and put on some layers – Stores can be warm or even a bit hot due to the number of people inside but outside can be as colder as your fridge’s crisper. You need to wear a shirt, a hoodie, and a jacket. Wear something that can keep you warm but you easily remove inside the store. Bring a bag where you can stuff it in when you remove it.
Also, wear comfy shoes. You will be on your feet all day and you’ll do much walking so you need to have something comfortable on your feet.
5. Hydrate and bring snacks – Most stores won’t allow food inside but you can eat between stores and shops. Bring a water tumbler so you can hydrate while walking around. The last thing you want is fainting from dehydration. If you have Gatorade or other energy drinks, put them in a spill-proof container because stores may not allow you to bring inside plastic or paper cups from coffee shops or even PET bottles.
6. Look for coupons that will be accepted on Black Friday – If there is a sales and you also have a bunch of coupons you may get your items at much lesser prices. I saw this lady on Extreme Couponing where these really dedicated shoppers almost paid NOTHING because of the Black Friday sale and the coupons they used.
Well I read about this lady too which can be a bit more of an inspiration because she bagged the highest ever extreme couponing done in the UK
7. Exercise before Black Friday – I’m not joking, you need to have stamina! You may need to line up for hours before the door opens. You may need to walk a lot of kilometers on one day and if you get tired and need to rest for some hours you are losing precious time to visit shops. You may need to do some walking before the big day just so as your body is not so easily tired after a few hours of the Black Friday.
8. Get your family to help you – If you have more people on your team, you can cover more ground. You can have all the things you need to buy in a shorter time frame
Personal Thoughts on Black Friday
I know Black Friday in-store shopping can be difficult and tiring but nothing beats the smiles you get when your kids, friends, mom, dad, dog, cat, and bird get their Christmas gifts unwrapped on Christmas morning. This is why I love the Black Friday sales. And this is the ultimate retail therapy. You get to SHOP AND SHOP non stop for one day for dirt cheap prices.
On the other hand, if you feel you can’t really do the walking, can’t stand the lining-up or the shoving, you can either shop for Black Friday sales online (but some stores only put sales in their stores) or you can wait for Cyber Monday where stores may push more discount on items that did not sell on Black Friday.
Want to start shopping? – See the best Black Friday UK deals