Canada’s thanksgiving came and went at the snap of a finger. For my American neighbors its right around the corner. Thanksgiving however is not just about the family dinners, the burnt or not so burnt turkey or cleaning the large pile of dishes after everyone leaves. It serves as the constant reminder that the following day is the biggest sale day of the year. For bargain shoppers you go to bed early to ensure you are well rested and wake up early in an effort to be the first person at the mall to get a hold of that television you have been eyeing all year or that pair of shoes that is now half price. Almost everything in most stores will be on sale and who doesn’t love a good bargain. I have to admit it, I have a tad bit weakness to shopping, and I just can’t resist a good sale. Funny story: I was at the checkout counter at one of my favorite clothing store; the clerk winked at me and told me to come in early for the Black Friday sale. “You will love what you see” while lowering her voice like it was a top secret. I winked right back at her and sarcastically replied “I bet you say that to everyone” wink! Before you go scrambling, pushing in the crowds and getting your wigs snatched take a moment to read my must have guide for efficient black friday shopping. Remember that a deal is only good if both parties are happy.
- Begin by planning days in advance. Don’t just go to the mall to spend money on absolutely everything that you see on sale. If you don’t need it then don’t buy it. Write a list of thing that you absolutely need. Go online and check the prices of these items and make a mental note of it. Some things that will be on sale are not worth the trouble of pushing through the crowd to purchase. Ask yourself if it’s really worth it to go through all that hassle just to save $5 or $10. A Good tip is to buy items that are not usually on sale. Clothing items go on sale at the end of each season, so consider skipping a few of these stores.
- You will most likely spend most or all of the day shopping, so plan to take the day off work if possible. Try not to miss prior commitments because you want to go shopping. Check your calendar weeks in advance and keep that day open.
- Make a budget and stick to it. While it may be tempting to buy absolutely everything you think you want, try to be realistic and shop within your financial means. Buy only the most important things that fit in your budget. This may be a good time to shop for holiday gift items for your family and friends.
- Plan to get to the mall early. You will be one of the first few people to get all the good deals before they are sold out. There are some items that are known to be sold quicker than others so shop at the stores that sell these items first.
- Wear comfortable clothes. The stress of standing in long lines and shopping on a busy day can be very overwhelming. Wear clothes that are light and comfortable. Leave your heels at home, wear a comfortable pair of running shoes, pull your hair in a bun away from your face and skip wearing makeup. With the large throngs of people being in the mall you can easily become hot and sweaty, therefore your comfort should come first. Wear a purse that you can easily access your wallet from; don’t wait until you get to the cash register to begin searching for your wallet. Try to keep your hands as free as possible and wear one with long straps that can be worn across your body.
- It is a good idea to leave younger kids and strollers at home with a responsible adult. It will be quite the task to navigate the mall with young kids while it is so busy. Plan to have a sitter or daycare for your kids for that day.
- Stay hydrated. Take a bottle of water with you to drink while you are on your shopping exploits. Plan to eat lunch at the mall or carry a protein bar in your purse to eat when your energy runs low.
- If, like me, you get a bit of anxiety in a crowded area, skip the lines and shop online. Almost all the stores that have sales on black friday will have an online sale the following week called Cyber monday! Shop in the comfort of your home and enjoy a hassle free shopping experience. It is now a common practice for merchants to extend the sale into the weekend; therefore you now have the option of shopping on a less busy day.
- If you are shopping for clothes be sure to know exactly what your clothing size is. Most stores in an effort to clear inventory will mark all sale items as “final sale”. Be careful not to buy clothes that won’t fit the way you like it. The lines to the change room will be very long. Plan for extended wait time, check your items to see if they are ripped, soiled, the correct size and color that you need.
Happy shopping folks, you can thank me later. Sound off in the comments below, will you be shopping this Black Friday? Is it really worth the hassle?