For the first time in Black Friday history, the shopping frenzy is starting Thursday night this year. Some retailers are opening doors as early as 9 pm on Thanksgiving and whether those yams are digested or not, they want you sprinting for deals.
There are a few tips important for super shopping days like Black Friday when supply is in such high demand it lasts for about five minutes before the merchandise is wiped off shelves. The first tip is to have a major action plan and a list of exactly what you’re looking for and where it’s located in the store. If you check into a store the day before the big sale and know exactly what aisle or section where your items are stocked, it will save you the headache of running in circles when the doors open.
I also recommend taking a team whether it’s your teenage kids or your significant other. You can delegate tasks to them with items you need and spread out your traction throughout the store. This team effort will dramatically increase your chances of getting what you want. Walkie Talkies, code words and coordinated neon T’s optional.
The past few months I attempted to buy merchandise at the mega designer sales when Missoni for Target was released and just a couple days ago when Versace hit H&M. Planning was vital because whether it’s clothes, electronics or toys, if people are camping out ahead of time you’re going to have to be more dedicated. Follow the stores you’re planning to shop on twitter and facebook to get updates of when they open and if there are specific guidelines about how the crowds will be handled.
One of the most important tips is to stay calm and rational. The frenzy and sprinting shoppers cause a very chaotic and stressful scene. A Toys “R” Us battle zone at 6 am might not be your cup of tea and if that’s the case, shop on your own terms and your time without worrying about these pre-sales. Before you approach the store, make a mental note that if the item you want is already gone when you get inside or the last one is snatched up right in front of you face, that life will go on. Pushing, screaming and fighting over a deal is the nastiest nightcap after a joyful Thanksgiving feast with family.
These sales are hectic, so always pay careful attention to the labels before you purchase any item when you make your way to the register. Double check the box or size to make sure you have the correct edition, model or clothing so you don’t arrive home with a Playstation game that doesn’t work with your kid’s system. When merchandise is sold out, chances of exchanges are basically nonexistent until after the holidays when people make returns. Or, your only option may be paying even a higher price for the sold out item on Ebay.
I learned this the hard way at the Versace for H&M sale last Saturday. With the 10 minute shopping limit they allowed customers in the women’s section, I arrived home with a pair of silver strappy Versace for H&M heels. One heel was in a size 7 and the other was size 8. I called the manager and they were 100% percent sold out before 9:45 am. You can avoid this mistake by double checking everything and keep a watchful eye to ensure the correct discounted price is appearing as they scan your items.
With that, I’d like to wish you the best of luck shopping early Friday morning or late Thursday night. If you make it on time and get the merchandise you’ve been drooling over, congrats! And if you don’t, I hope the disappointment and Black Friday blues subside quickly. It’s nothing a slice of left over blackberry pie washed down with some sparkling cider can’t cure.