Monday, November 21, 2011

11/21/11: Black Friday, Sleep or Shop?

Well this week is Black Friday!  I can hardly believe it is almost Thanksgiving.  With the storms we had locally our Trick or Treating was delayed so I feel like we just finished Halloween.  Every year it seems as if the stores open earlier and earlier.  I saw that Walmart was opening at 10 pm on Thanksgiving.  The poor workers at these stores get their Thanksgiving shortened.  I must say that I have been crazy enough to go out the last few years on Black Friday.  I had never done it before, but I thought I would try it for the fun of it. 

Some tips and things I have learned:
Go in with a plan. I am serious about this! Map out the store, scope it out before and know the items you want to get and where they are.  This is not a day to be browsing around with all the craziness.

Sales leading up to Black Friday can be just as good.  Keep an eye on the ads and coupons that come out and you could get a better deal on something you want before the big day.

You will be overwhelmed at how rude people can be.  Maybe bring an iPod and listen to ear phones of Have a Holly Jolly Christmas to keep you in the holiday spirit and not bring you down.

Review the circulars in advance.  Most are already posted online.  I use Black and they email me as the circulars are posted.  Make a list of items you want at each store and note that only the items in the circulars will be on sale, all other items will most likely be full price.  They are trying to get you in the door with the deep discounts on select items.  Do some comparisons online to know you are getting the best deal.

Deeply discounted electronics may be limited in stock.  This is the reason you will drive by a Best Buy on Thanksgiving night and there will be a line and the store doesn't open till morning.  I personally am not that hardcore to do this.

Check opening times and times of sales.  Stores such as Toys 'R Us may have multiple rounds of sales starting at different times.

One thing I learned at Toys 'R Us is that carriages may be at a premium.  Despite arriving at the store at 11:30 for a midnight opening the line was probably 200 deep already.  When I got to the store to be let in there were no carriages.  I could not possible carry the toys around so I had to wait a while for one.  If you see one in the parking lot grab it and then get in line.  Or bring a double stroller or wagon to carry items.
I learned last year while reviewing the Toys R Us ad that the same toys were on sale year after year.  I have seen the following discounted for the last three years:  Leapsters medical kits, Aqua Doodles, Crayola sets, and the Furreal Friends Pony.  I know this as I bought some of them (not the pony, my husband would have killed me) two years ago and still see them in the ad each year.  Check out the Toys R Us ad and see.
Plan to be there a while.  The line when I went to Toys R Us was all the way around the store.  It would be best to shop with a partner in crime so that you could have one person in line and one getting items from a list.

I use this time to stock up for kids birthday parties.  If I can get some deeply discounted toys I know I will put them to use with all the birthday parties we have to go to.

Kohl's is crazy busy due to $15 Kohl's Cash.  But I always go.  :-)

Don't get sucked in by the deals!  Make sure you really need the item and you aren't just buying it because it is a great deal.

Comment and let me know, do you sleep or do you shop on Black Friday?


Brooke said...

My sister and I got up one year to get some deals from Best Buy. After standing in a cold line for hours and then not able to get 2 of the 3 items we wanted, never again. I will continue to sleep in on Black Friday and let other people brave the cold and the crowds while I enjoy a well deserved vacation day.

Sonia said...

Luckily my girls are still young enough that there aren't any "must haves", just yet. I have never ventured out early in the morning on Black Friday. Instead I usually hope on the computer and get the same, if not better deals.