It is that time of year again when the hunter within all of us comes out. That’s right, Black Friday Shopping starts in a few days and here are some helpful tips to keep yourself safe in the hunt.
1. Plan ahead
Some people might think this is kind of second nature to think that you should plan ahead before you go out shopping on Black Friday, but not everyone does. Those are the people in the stores scrambling around trying to find whatever they can without a set list or guide to get them what they want or need.
“Going in mentally prepared for crowds and having patience help when shopping on Black Friday,” Madie Valencia, Urban Outfitters worker said.
Planning ahead is easier than one might think. All of the Black Friday ads have been released. Make a list of all the items you want to purchase and next to each item write down where the best store to purchase it is at.
“If I know what I want it takes the stress out of waiting in line and I can keep an eye on everything I have,” said annual Black Friday shopper, Taylor Haverluck.
Do not exhaust yourself with an extensive list of things you know you can get on Cyber Monday instead. Black Friday is best combatted when a person is prepared.
Once you have your list written out, next step is to figure out the order of the stores you will be going to and when is the best time to go to each store. More and more stores are opening up early on Thanksgiving evening rather than the original Black Friday day. The first couple of hours that a store is open is always chaotic and should be avoided. If a store opens up at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening, go to that store at 7 a.m. the next morning. The store’s staff will be restocking the shelves and most people will be sleeping if they already went out the night before. If you are not a morning person and don’t have an extensive list, go the last hour that the store is open. The remnants of the items stocked will still be on sale and the lines will be way shorter.
2. Make a budget
This does fit into planning ahead, but building a budget needs its own special attention. Nothing would be worse than maxing out your credit card on Black Friday knowing full well the extensive number of months it will take you to pay off that debt. A rule of thumb to help you save money especially over the holidays is “If you don’t have it, don’t spend it.” Each Black Friday people go out and buy things that they know they can’t afford and have to deal with being in debt and low on money for a while until they pay off what they owe.
Unless you have a built-in system for paying off the debt, do yourself a favor and pass on whatever you want to buy that will make you go over budget.
3. Have a shopping buddy
When push comes to shove, which does happen literally on Black Friday, you need someone who will stand with you and help you snag all of the best deals. Hopefully, an altercation does not arise while shopping, but if something were to happen, your shopping buddy would be there to help you out. Shopping with another person also adds to the benefit of having someone stay in the checkout line for you while you go to the bathroom. Having a shopping buddy who knows your style is also beneficial when scavenging for the right outfit in the hordes of on sale clothing. Lastly, a shopping buddy can help you carry all of your bags to the car as you get ready to go to the next store.
4. Bring food and water
Black Friday can be exhausting and an all-day excursion. You need to be fueled and ready to go all while shopping from place to place. The long checkout lines can take up to hours to get through and sometimes you really need that energy bar to get you through the next twenty minutes of wait time. As an added tip to this one, make sure you eat a well-balanced meal before heading to the stores. Think of Black Friday shopping as a multi-hour workout. You wouldn’t work out on an empty stomach, would you?
“You want to be well rested. You want to be ready for any kind of delays,” Ivan Chavez, Downtown Phoenix Ambassador said.
5. Park far from the store
This is probably the last thing you want to hear, but honestly the farther the better. As previously mentioned, Black Friday shopping is like a workout, so parking farther helps put in the cardio aspect of shopping. Parking farther away from the entrance will help you actually find a parking spot since everyone wants to park closer to the front. An added tip if you are shopping before the sun rises, park next to a lap post so you can easily find your car.
“I keep safe by driving carefully especially on and around busy streets,” said Haverluck.
Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your journey to the stores on Black Friday.