Editor's Note: Happy Thanksgiving to you! We reckon that many of you will be hitting the stores early, so we are sharing Nicole's #BlackFriday shopping tips today! As she says, saving is sexy….going broke isn’t!)
10 Shopping Tips for Black Friday
I've spent my entire career in retail, so I've seen more than a few Black Fridays! Black Friday is the unofficial start to holiday shopping and for so many folks it’s a family ritual.
(I know some folks don't like the early openings or the excessive commercialism, but for many, it's in the blood!) So many questions; so little time: What deal? What line? What mall?
Contrary to some social media memes, Black Friday is a day most retail folks enjoy because there is so much prep for the big show and then it’s showtime!
Here 10 tips to keep it focused, fun, and most importantly, safe!
1. Safety first! Some stores open in the middle of the night or while it’s dark. Watch where you park. Put your bags in the trunk where they can’t be seen. Carry a purse that straps over your body with the actual purse in front. Do not put your cell phone down. BE AWARE and stay aware until you are safely home.
2. Make a list! What do you have to have? What brand? Stick to the list. I know this seems obvious but getting something that won’t be used because it is a good deal is really a bad deal! Grrr.
3. Use the envelope system. No credit cards! (Unless you are planning on an extra discount from a certain card use cash.) With cash only, if you don’t bring it, you can’t spend it! So, I put the list on the outside of the envelope and the cash inside with any added coupons, giftcards, etc.
4. Dress appropriately. It will be cold outside but inside the stores and malls will be full of people and it will get hot; layers may be ideal.
5. Bring a bag with handles: The last thing you need is for your handle to snap and all your goodies to roll away! Take one of those durable, recycled grocery bags with you.
6. Bring your ads and coupons with you. Cashiers may be new during the holiday season, and doing a price-check with 50 people behind you can be dangerous. (If you know what I mean!)
7. Leave your kids at home. This is a no-brainer but I still see people dragging little ones around very early in the morning. Hmmm, where is the surprise? Not to mention Black Friday crowds generally are not kid-friendly.
8. Pick your route and set meeting times for connecting with shopping buddies. Cell phone service is sometimes sketchy in stores so having a set time works well.
9. Divide and conquer! Use your buddy system to stand in line and to get the most from different deals. You can grab something for them while they wait in line for you and vice versa.
10. Have fun. Part of shopping on such a busy day is the excitement factor! Grab some good coffee and buy a cup for the person in line behind you! Be nice, smile, and try not to make a mess.
Remember no deal is worth your safety, so stay alert and shop smart.
Nicole Harding is an expert in leadership development, wife, and mother focused on spreading positivity one conversation, one home project, and one dynamite deal at a time. Follow Nicole on Twitter @RealTalkNic.
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