For all the Black Friday cheat sheets we’ve prepared and for all the Black Friday strategizing you’ve surely done on your own, there always exist some intangibles that keep you from getting everything on your holiday shopping list. Black Friday, plain and simple, is just too busy. Too many people looking for the best deal on electronics. Too many people relying on Black Friday sales to complete their wardrobe. Too many people looking to reinvent their kids’ toy boxes on a single day.
Sometimes, you just need a few hints, secrets and strategies — especially when Black Friday comes into play. That’s when it’s time to turn to the veterans, the people who’ve been there, done that, bought the t-shirt — and come up with their own Black Friday tips and tricks to make sure your shopping adventures net you more than just a t-shirt.
CNN has a great article in which they asked six Black Friday “vets” for their insight into how to make sure they nabbed everything on their shopping list and still emerged with all their appendages. You can read the full article here, but we’ve provided the highlights and true pearls of wisdom below. These six tips below are good thinking, and they should help you make sure you clean house on your Black Friday shopping list.
Black Friday Secret Strategy 1: Do your shopping without a coat. Although you’ll probably freeze outside, you have more freedom when running inside the store and may actually end up moving faster than other shoppers.
Black Friday Secret Strategy 2: Involve the family. One couple interviewed by CNN actually “recruits” their 16-year-old son for the shopping madness, thus ensuring that they can take advantage of the Black Friday sales at three different stores simultaneously.
Black Friday Secret Strategy 3: Work smarter, not harder. It’s a total cliche, yes, but one reader polled in the article plans to bring a collapsible cart on her Black Friday shopping adventures to help her carry her purchases without getting completely drained of energy.
Black Friday Secret Strategy 4: Get charged — and by that, we mean make sure your cell phone’s battery is full. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged, because changes in shopping strategy or items suddenly being sold-out often requires instant and fast contact with the people you’re shopping with. There’s no time to waste trying to find that person in the crazy Black Friday crowd because your battery died, so make sure he or she is just a phone call away.
Black Friday Secret Strategy 5: Remember that kids’ disappointment is worse than an adult’s. If you’re shopping for young kids as well as adults, remember that presents often mean more to kids than they do to grown-ups. Thus, make sure you get their gifts before you target the adults’ presents. Consider making Toys R Us your first stop on Thanksgiving night, because they often have exclusive products that other stores don’t have, especially where Disney toys are concerned.
Black Friday Secret Strategy 6: Two men enter, one man leave — immediately. With the checkout lines so jam packed on Black Friday, consider going to the store in pairs and having one person stand near (or get in) the checkout line immediately. Presuming you’ve followed the cell-phone strategy above, you can keep in touch as the shopper is wrapping up and needs to know which line to move toward for the grand exit. In the case of the woman who spoke to CNN, she puts one of her younger sisters in the checkout line as soon as they arrive at the store, then split up, grab items from their list and all re-convene with the “waiting” sister once they’re ready to check out.
So there you have it: some Black Friday secrets and strategies from the pros. Here’s hoping these help you emerge unscathed from the shopping masses. Good luck.