Black Friday can get a teensy bit INSANE if you aren't careful! For those who don't know, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving celebrated in America as a day to shop for those whom you love (and for yourself, of course). Because there's an immense amount of sales, the malls can get a little crowded and you must do your best to survive Black Friday!
Many people take Black Friday as their first chance to find really good holiday deals for their family and friends - stocking up on early Christmas presents at this time and not spending a fortune on those gifts! A good chunk of the malls and local stores are open from late Thanksgiving Day until the next afternoon on Black Friday.
However, some stores are learning that the foot traffic vs. conversion over the past few years hasn't actually been the best in the wee hours of morning, therefore some destinations will open for the evening of Thanksgiving Day and close until 6 a.m. on Black Friday morning. The time that you shop greatly depends on the sales you want to make.
STOP: RESEARCH TIME!
Thanksgiving is your research day! The day before Black Friday, all the paper ads are released in the newspaper (you know, if you still get that - your folks probably do). This is a great opportunity to flip through and see if any of your gift items are going on sale instead of running around like a chicken with your head cut off until the last minute.
Your email inbox is probably another great resource, as all of those brand newsletters you signed up for (Bath & Body Works, anybody?) will come in extra handy.
MAKE YOUR LIST, CHECK IT TWICE
Take note of what others want, what you want and what you hope to accomplish during your exhibition. I like making a larger list that I can look at on the road, not a stack of busy ads. Circle first, list next.
Gas + coffee + meals, no exception. Fueling up is incredibly important at the beginning of the journey. Stop by your local gas station late on Thanksgiving night - a night when many are at home and the lines aren't long.
Then it's time to swing by your local coffee shop of choice and fuel up with caffeine and some breakfast. Not gonna lie: I like my Red Bull spritzers. If you just ate Thanksgiving dinner, no worries, just make sure you ate a food item with some substance - an egg, cheese, some turkey; something with protein. It can't all be carbs! Your body will thank you later.
Throughout the night, it's necessary that you refuel with food and caffeine as soon as you feel like you're fading. Speaking from the point of view of a previous retail salesperson: ain't nobody want a grumpy shopper in their stores! :)
CHECK THE CLOCK
Once you finish your list of the items people want, arrange your schedule according to the time these doorbusters and greater sales happen. If one electronic item goes on sale at 3 a.m., but the throw pillows you've been drooling over go on sale at 3:30, it's vital that you arrange transportation and adequate shopping time to meet both sales - perhaps your S/O will have to hit up one of the sales.
Since 2006, BlackFriday.com has been bringing Black Friday deals to a central place and making sure that users get the best of the best deals each year without having to look in a million places and multiple paper ads (although I still enjoy that old-fashioned method, too!).
BlackFriday.com will keep the updated information to allow you to plan your ideal shopping trip/find the best deals for your friends + family!
STAY ON TASK + BUDGET
Perhaps more important than any of the other tips, staying on task and budget is key to conquering the madness that is Black Friday! Set a pre-determined budget ahead of time and keep yourself accountable to ensure you stick to it. Or, only transfer as much as you are willing to spend onto your credit card (or withdraw it in physical bills) and once it's gone, you're maxed out and gotta go home!
TAP OUT WHEN IT'S GOT THE BEST OF YOU
Just like I shared above: know when you've had enough... when your feet hurt, WHEN YOUR EYEBALLS HURT! Know your limit, girl. It's time to sleep once you reach rock bottom.
What are your tips for cultivating an unbeatable Black Friday? Leave them in the comments!
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BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to all of life's problems + that all women should strive to embrace a #girlboss mantra.