Monday, November 21, 2011

10 Tips For Surviving Black Friday

Jess and I are Black Friday Shoppers, and have had this tradition together for about 6 years now. It's really quite amazing how similar my rules for Black Friday parallel those for "Rules of Zombieland". If you have never seen this movie, it's a must in your preparation for Black Friday. Look at it as a training video.... It's quite uncanny how the shoppers you will run into on this morning mirror zombies: you have sleep deprived, caffeine pumped maniacs that will do anything to get what's on their list.

So, here we go - 10 Tips to survive the Black Friday Apocalypse.

1. Be Prepared! You want to know where you are going and for what, and then come up with a game plan. Jess and I used to watch the Black Friday ads go up online for weeks before the actual day. We'd print ads, and clip our favorites. This year we thought it would be fun to actually go get a paper and spread out on the living room floor while watching football, and clip our ads that way. Either way, know what you are doing the night before.

2. Travel Light. You will be carrying around bags of your treasures, so you don't need to have extra things to keep track of. Instead of carrying a purse go for a small pocket wallet - one just big enough to carry a drivers license and credit card or cash. Keep all ads in the car, except for the store you are in, and only clip the stuff you want there so it will also fit into your pocket. If you have cargo pants, or a coat with a lot of pockets, even better!

3. Limber Up. This is serious business. People out there will trade their own daughter for the item they want, so don't get in their way, it's not worth it! Make sure to stay limber and in shape so that you may dodge to the left or right at any given time to bypass the path of someone clearly on a mission. They will not see you, nor will they care that they just knocked you down.

4. No Attachments. There may be something on your list that you really want, but don't get too attached. There is nothing on your list that is worth standing 2 hours in line for, or risk life and limb over. If there is someone else that is wanting that item, and is willing to fight over it, let them have it. This should be a fun, happy experience!

5. When it doubt, know your way out. In my opinion, there is NEVER anything on my list worth a 2 hour line! If you walk into a store, and the lines are wrapping clear around the store (which is very common for Walmart and Target), find the nearest door and just leave. Again, this should be a fun experience, and standing in life for 2 hours is not fun!

6. Get a Kick Ass Partner. One strategy that works great, if the line is bearable but still somewhat long, it tag team it. One person stands in line while the other goes and gets the desired item. By the time the errand person gets back, you should be several people closer to the checkout.

7. It's a marathon, not a sprint, unless it's a sprint, then sprint. Pace yourself. Enjoy the sounds, sights and smells of the day. Book the whole morning and afternoon out and just take your time.... however, if you see a short check out line, don't dawdle. If you have your stuff, and your done, beat feet over there and get the heck out.

8. Shake It Off. People get cranky on Black Friday. Even though it should be fun, people just take it too seriously. They are tired, they are feeling broke, and they are more than likely hungry. It's a sad truth, but they will be rude to you. Shake it off. It's not personal. Just let it go, smile at them, let them have the socks they want, and move along. Don't let someone's bad attitude rub off on you.

9. Check The Back Seat. It's a sad truth, but burglars know that you have been out spending lots of cash on big ticket items. They know that every car in the parking lot is ripe for the pickings, but they don't have a lot of time. If they peak into a window and see that brand new blue ray or HDTV, you are a prime target. Make sure to put as much stuff as you can out of view. If you do get that really big ticket item, like the aforementioned TV, take it home: don't leave it sitting in the car for the world to see.

10. Enjoy The Little Things. In my opinion this is the most important item on the list! Make a coffee/tea/hot chocolate before you leave to enjoy and keep you warm: go out and enjoy a yummy breakfast: and, do something fun while you are out enjoying the Christmas holiday. Jess and I get our picture taken with Santa every year. We go to the same place and see the same Santa every time. It's our tradition. 

Black Friday should be fun, not a chore. Go early, but not too early, and don't take the day too seriously. You really aren't saving that much more at 2:00 a.m. than you are at 7:00 a.m. Frankly, there are so many sales throughout the Christmas season, you can find good deals any time. Just go to have fun and make it an event.

That's what Jess and I do anyway.

picture taken from Free-Extras

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