Tips & Tricks: Your Black Friday Guide

Categories: Oxi Fresh - Just for Fun

Tips & Tricks: Your Black Friday Guide

Black Friday is America’s busiest and most chaotic shopping day. Millions are out and about, crowding stores and stretching staff to their limits. It’s a great day to deal hunt, but you need to plan ahead to make the most of it. Here’s how you can have an efficient, safe and effective Black Friday.

Preparation:
Get the Facts
Black Friday research should begin now. There are three ways to find out what specials will be available after Thanksgiving. The first way requires a bit of work on your part. Start by identifying your top five retail stores, subscribe to their e-newsletters, check their websites daily and print off any great deals you find. The second way to prepare is to go to www.bfads.net. They collect coupon and discount information from the big name stores and put it all in one convenient site (they also have an awesome app). Finally, a lot of specials and coupons won’t be made public until Thanksgiving day. All you can do there is get a newspaper and look through the ads.

Create an Action List
So you’re in the loop. Now let’s put that information to good use. First, create a Black Friday budget – how much are you going to spend on that day? Now that you have a spending limit, figure out which deals make the most of that budget. Prioritize those items and you’ll have a reasonable and useful wish list. Let’s turn that into an Action List.

Group all your items by the stores they’re in and figure out which store has the most of your high priority items – that’s now your #1 store. Work down the list in this way until you’ve ranked all the stores in their order of importance. Ta da! You have an Action List.

Make a Plan
With your list in hand, write down all the stores’ opening hours. If they’re all opening at about the same time, the plan will be to work your way down the Action List. If some lower priority stores are opening earlier, consider going to those before your high priority stores open.

Either way, establish the order of your shopping day, plan your routes between the stores and try to set a schedule of when you want to be in and out of the stores.

At the Store
Select Your Team
It’s time to select your shopping team. First things first – don’t bring kids. They will have a terrible time and are at greater risk of being injured in a crowd. Choose willing family members who know what they’re doing.

Ideally, you’ll have a team of three to four people (two at a minimum). With a larger team, one person can shop with a cart, two can run around the store to hunt down assigned items and the last can hop into long lines ahead of time.

A word of advice – make sure everyone has fully charged cellphones that are set to loud. Try to have meeting points both in and out of the store in case you get separated. Finally, get your team something extra nice for helping out.

Follow the Plan
If you want to complete your Action List, resist impulse buys and delays. The only time you should stray from your plan is if you find a truly incredible special – something they weren’t advertising but would have definitely made your list. Otherwise, stick to the plan.

Lost Causes
We can’t get it all. If you’re at the store and people are mobbing the item you want, if the lines are atrociously long or if the item is just gone, don’t waste time. Consult your Action List, find the next valuable item and go for that.

Safety
Your’s and Their’s 

Black Friday is a fun day, but you need to keep safety in mind. Large groups of people, sleepy drivers and opportunists can make getting that special gift a challenge. There are a lot of valuable safety tips we recommend, but these are the three big principles on Black Friday:

1. No deal is worth your health and safety.
2. Don’t let the mob mentality take over.
3. Keep an eye out for your friends, fellow shoppers and staff.

Remember that these are the holidays. Treat your fellow shoppers with respect and kindness. Sure, we’re all deal hunters, but that doesn’t make any of us enemies.

Be safe and get some great deals! Thanks to Donna Montaldo, Aaron Burgess, Melinda Fulmer and Janet Cho for the information.