In true American fashion, a day after giving thanks for the people and things we have in our lives, everyone rushes to stores, nearly trampling over each other to get the greatest deals, best new products and 15 percent off those designer jeans. These tips have been gathered from years of practice, trial and error, and a questionable moral compass.
Go in a group of two minimum. Three is better. Large groups are equivalent to ultimate success.Arguably the most important tip, the more people in your Black Friday group, the higher the success rate. Each person is responsible for a task. Divide and conquer because there is no reason for four people to go to the DVD section when one person can grab the movies on the list for everyone.
Cells phones need to be 100 percent charged, but for the real pros, walkie talkies are a must.It should be fairly obvious why phones need to be 100 percent charged. Groups will get separated–it’s inevitable. (If you don’t, you aren’t utilizing your maximum potential). However, walkie talkies never fail. It is an easy way to communicate with the entire group at once with no delay, and by the push of a button. It’s hard to catch a signal with everyone using the same cell towers, but that problem can be eliminated. You will look like an idiot carrying it around, but you will never get lost and can alert the team about the great sale on aisle 21. Besides, no one goes to Best Buy at 1 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving to pick up a date.
Freeloader, aisle 1
Unless you are looking to spend more time in line then you did shopping, one person in the group needs to immediately get in line. There is no possible way the other team members will shop longer then it takes to stand in line. If by chance the person does reach the front of the line, let the people behind you go first while you wait.
CPS may come knocking on my door after this tip. Thirteen is young enough for adults to think they are cute and innocent, and 8 is old enough to have a focused goal, not complain, and not get lost. A young kid is vital to the success of the team. Small limbs slip through crowds easily and no one is going to yell at a child for grabbing the item that wasn’t supposed to be released until 5 a.m.
Mission totally possible
Pick up a paper the week before and scout for the best prices and the best deals. East coast ads are released online. If Walmart releases a surprise deal in New Jersey at 5 a.m. their time, Phoenix will know about it 2 a.m. our time.
Don’t get creative
Create a list of what to buy, and stick to it. You don’t need to be going home with a $374 grill only to remember later that you are a vegetarian. Don’t fall victim to the lure of the red half-priced-tags and flashing lights of sales. Only buy what you intended to.
Do your research
Just because stores put a sign on the shiny TV that reads “SALE” doesn’t mean the price is sale worthy. Make sure that what you are standing in line for is worth waking up at 2 a.m. with a turkey-induced hangover. Too many stores advertise a sale when the product is somewhere around that price all year. Don’t be fooled. Crosscheck ads, find the best prices. They are out there; it just takes a little extra work to locate.
Don’t scrimp to save
The saying, “you get what you pay for” is perfect here. Sometimes, it’s worth it to spend an extra $50 on the product to get the best or biggest version. If the investment is already being made, make sure to invest smart.
Big department stores almost always have different release points for various products, most commonly: 12 a.m., 3 a.m., 5 a.m. Know what is being released, where in the store it’s located, and be ready to elbow if necessary. (It’s not personal, it’s business).
Off the beaten path
Everyone is going to go to the local Walmart or the electronic store right by the mall. Traveling a little farther or to a store whose chain isn’t as large can help avoid lines and save time, since the line at the Best Buy will be longer then the Fry’s Electronics line. If a different store is carrying what you want, it may be worth it to go elsewhere. Don’t forget to do your research, most stores will offer a price match.
Hide it behind the linens
We can neither confirm nor deny that hiding anything behind the linens will keep it safe all night from being purchased from another buyer.
If college kids are willing to sell plasma for extra beer money, it really won’t take more than a couple bucks to pay them to stand in line during Black Friday. How this works is that most stores will give out a voucher for big-ticket items—let’s say a TV. Find a broke soul who is planning on going anyway and then pay them to grab a voucher for you when they are being passed out. Then, show up at 2 a.m. to get your voucher and pick up your TV. (Now is when we begin to question our moral compass.)
Dress for success
Closed-toe shoes are no debate. Every Black Friday shopper needs to be wearing these. If you are standing outside in line, wear warm layers. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and a hoodie. If you are going shopping for clothes, wear a tank top under your shirt to easily slip shirts on and off to avoid dressing rooms.
Yes, you just ate that big Thanksgiving dinner, but your stomach won’t remember that at 4 a.m. Almonds and cashews are not messy. They’re easy to carry and fill you up the fastest. They’re highly recommended. Most coffee shops stay open all night to accommodate the crazies out there Black Friday shopping. (In other words, you and I, pal.)