There are two types of people in the world — those that celebrate Thanksgiving, and those that celebrate Black Friday. Waiting in a line that wrapped around the exterior of Best Buy at 2AM, my mom raised me to become a serial Black Friday shopper. In recent years, stores like Target, Walmart and Macy’s have opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day at 5PM. Because of COVID-19, all stores have collectively decided to remain closed on Thanksgiving but some will be opening bright and early Friday morning at 5AM.
Black Friday is worth the hype, in person or online. Whether you’re buying gifts for family and friends or splurging on yourself, they really are the best deals of the year from televisions to air fryers. I believe that everyone needs to experience Black Friday at least once. It does get crazy — I’ve had people literally try to take things out of my hands before I got to checkout. It marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, as sales will be happening from Thanksgiving Day until after Christmas. While it should be much more tame in light of the pandemic, here are some holiday shopping tips that everyone should know…
1) Check the store’s website before you leave the house.
In recent years, mostly everything that you see in the Black Friday ads are also available online. Unless it’s an item in extremely high demand like a special edition Nintendo Switch, you won’t have a problem adding it to your cart. Always act quickly, because things do sell out.
In the past, sometimes I’ve purchased items online before going to the store, just in case. Especially this year, online shopping is definitely the way to go. There’s better deals on Black Friday so don’t wait until Cyber Monday.
2) Get a map of the store.
If you do choose to shop in-store, please wear your mask and remember to stay safe. If crowds are congregating, remove yourself from the situation — I don’t care what products they’re selling, it’s not worth it. When you go Black Friday shopping at stores like Target or Macy’s, they create pop ups of products all around the store.
Because of this, employees will hand out special maps to show where exclusive items are. You can find electronics in the baby aisle, so this small gesture saves time especially when items are flying off the shelves.
3) Don’t shop alone.
The items seen in the advertisements will go sooner than later, and many of the highly coveted products have a purchase limit. Besides Black Friday being an experience to share, it’s much more efficient to shop with a buddy. One is able to hold the spot in line, you’re able to purchase above the limit since there are two of you, and you’re able to split up to cover more ground.
4) The price match guarantee is the secret weapon.
Walmart and Target are really good about honoring the price match guarantee. This usually doesn’t apply to online deals, moreso with Black Friday ads. This means, if Best Buy has a game for a lower price for Black Friday, you can show their circular to the cashier at Target and they will honor the lower price.
5) Bring water…because it can be a long day.
My mom and I always say we’ll just go to one store, but that’s never the case. We’ll get to a store at 5PM and not make it home until after 1AM. With water fountains deemed unsafe, please be prepared and bring water to stay hydrated. There’s nothing worse than shopping with a dry throat. Don’t forget to pack your hand sanitizer too!
6) Go after the doorbuster deals.
Doorbusters are no joke — they’re the champagne of products advertised and for good reason. If you go to a store an hour after it opens, you most likely won’t get your hands on any of the deals.
Remember, people wait in line hours prior to the store opening, mainly because of these special sales. But, as mentioned above, I’ve had success in the past scoring these products online from home at the exact time the physical store opened their doors.
7) If you wait until Saturday, you’ll probably be disappointed.
It might seem like a given, but f you’re planning to go Black Friday shopping…don’t wait until Saturday. The longer you wait, the less options you’ll have. You may walk out of the store empty-handed. Especially with the pandemic still raging on, I’d try to shop as early as possible before hundreds of customers come through snatching up the products.
While some may peg Black Friday as a materialistic cultural event, I don’t see it that way. I’m shopping for those that I love…friends and family…and most of the things that I go to buy on Thanksgiving night before it sells out are not for me. Hopefully with these tips, you’ll be able to purchase everything on your holiday list too. And most importantly, please wear a mask — it’s a sign of respect.
Article written by James Barrett for Redbook©