Get your rest now, you're going to need it. Black Friday is almost upon us once again. This infamous tradition has been around for what feels like forever. If you choose to participate, be careful. Many stores won't file incident reports relating to customer confrontations and have seriously beefed up security. So don't let the adrenaline take over too much. Remember to play nice.
In fact, being nice isn't just the golden rule, it's also a great strategy. Often, the employees are too busy to help you out, so you may be able to gain valuable info and insight from one of your fellow gladiators, er, shoppers. Plus, it'd be nice to have a buddy should things start getting rough.
When you think of Black Friday, one of the first images that pops into your head are the long lines of people camping out to be the first ones in the store. While establishments have special doorbuster deals, the items promised are usually in very limited supply. It's just a marketing tactic to get people to the stores. If you're not among the very first in line, camping out won't do much for you.
If you're not the first in line, don't sweat it. The best deals are often on the worst products. Remember, if something sounds like it's too good to be true, it probably is. If you spend $100 for a giant flat plasma screen T.V. it won't be the best quality.
Just because the store says it's a new item doesn't mean it's actually new. Sometimes they will recycle an old item that doesn't sell well. This way, they can create an artificial demand for it and give it a higher starting price.
Target and Best Buy aren't the only stores that have Black Friday sales, you know. Check around for smaller businesses that are participating. This way you can save money and not worry about getting trampled.
Here's a great piece of tactical advice. Shop with a bag, not a cart. The stores will be swarming and you don't want anything cumbersome to slow you down. Sure, you can use it as a battering ram, but remember what I said earlier about being nice? Yeah, just leave the carts where they are.
Don't believe any of the signs you see hanging in the store on Black Friday. Many establishments will inflate the price of products days before, so while they're not technically lying about dropping prices on this day you're not actually getting that great of a deal. Shop based off of what you want to spend, not what you think you're saving.
While those doorbuster deals may be tempting, they're mostly a carrot dangling on an out-of-reach stick. You can save yourself some aggravation and possibly bruises by shopping later in the afternoon. The deals continue all day, so go when some of the crowds have died (hopefully not literally).
You also don't even have to shop on Black Friday. Some stores will start rolling out the deals on Wednesday and keep them in effect until Cyber Monday. Many places also have sales in the weeks after Black Friday. You can get equal or almost as good deals if you just do some research.
If there's one thing you need to keep in mind it's that these sales are mostly marketing tactics. They're used to create a false sense of urgency to get you in the stores. These deals aren't a one-day-only event. Just keep an eye out year round, and you can save money without having to wear football pads while shopping. Also, you won't be as tempted to spend too much money thinking you're somehow actually saving money.
Speaking of saving money, here is a simple but invaluable tip. When shopping on Black Friday, only buy your items in cash. This way, you can more easily budget yourself and ensure you don't go too crazy. Leave your credit cards at home.
Speaking of credit cards, many stores may try to get you to sign up for one. Do. Not. Do. It. Getting a credit card should never be an impulse decision. While getting rewards and savings may seem like a good idea, you shouldn't do it while in a heightened emotional state. Be smarter with your credit.
You know how stressed out you get on Black Friday? It's exponentially worse for the employees at the store. They don't have the time or frankly the desire to check in the back of the store to see if there's anything else back there. There isn't. If they go back there they're not coming back out. They need the break.
You know how people wearing red shirts on Star Trek are always in imminent danger? You will be too if you wear a red shirt on Black Friday to Target. The same applies if you wear a blue shirt at Best Buy. There's enough chaos and confusion already. Don't add to it by becoming a decoy employee.