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Black Friday Tips for Beginners


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#31 SuperMommy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 28, 2007 - 1:27 pm

Go Wednesday night to your most important stores. I usually hit Circuit City and a few others then, b/c most of their items are already in place. I already know from this site what I'm interested in and I can scope out the location of the items. That way I know exactly where I'm headed when I walk into the doors Friday morning. This saves alot of time and I am more likely to get the items I want since I don't have to spend time looking for them. :yup:

#32 queenofshopping  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 29, 2007 - 7:38 pm

Oh goodness, where do I start? 1) A few people said don't take your purse in - well for me that's just impractical. Yes, regular purses are just asking for trouble - I use a small messenger bag with a very long strap that I wear across my chest (the actual bag part ends up in front of me near my hip)...it's expandable & closes with a buckle thing like on a fanny pack. Absolutely indispensable! 2) Second everyone who said make sure your cell is fully charged! 3) If you get together with family on Thanksgiving, thrust the circulars in front of your young relatives & force them to pick out a few things they might want for Xmas! It's so much easier than to just ask them what they want. 4) GET MULTIPLE HARD COPIES OF CIRCULARS! I cannot stress this enough. Often when you take one to get something price matched they will keep the paper...if you want to PM 2 things from the Target circular, one at BB & one at WM, for example, you're going to need 2 copies, especially if the items are on the same page! Ask your relatives to bring all their ads with them to Thanksgiving if they're not going to need them! 5) Choose your first store carefully. Make lists & go over them 4 or 5 times. Ask yourself 'can this be pricematched elsewhere?' 'how crowded is this store likely to be?' 'do I *really* need this?' etc. Once you see all the ads & are making your lists, ask some of the veterans here which items are likely to still be in stock a few hours after the store opens so you know what you really need to try hardest for. 6) On BF, whenever you plan to leave...leave a half hour earlier! If there's no major line you can always sit in your car. 7) If you're going alone, make friends with the people around you on line. If it's cold where you live, as it is for most of us, consider bringing a thermos of something hot, or stop off at Dunkin Donuts etc & pick up a few extra cups of what you're drinking. Not only will getting to know people help for holding your place while you use the restroom, etc., if you encounter these people once you're inside they can be great allies - on BF '05 a woman I made friends with knew I was looking for a certain item &, when she got hers, grabbed an extra for me just in case - I didn't get there in time to get it but she had one just for me! 8) Forget the cart, especially if you're doing WM as your first store - that's just asking for trouble. BF '05 I had a cart & proceeded to load it up with the bigger items I was getting, but then I got stuck in one area (who the hell thought to put toys right next to electronics, I ask you?!) where it was, as my mother would say, cheek-to-jowl. Anyone with a cart pretty much had to abandon it. Even if you have to kick something along the ground as you go, it's still better than risking getting blocked in because you won't give up your cart! 9) Dress in layers! Sure, you may need to be dressed for the Arctic for the waiting *outside* of the store, but what about inside? If you're going somewhere that's likely to have just as big of a checkout line as a line to get in, it can get very hot very fast from all that body heat! I like to layer a few tank tops/tees, plus a nice thick hoodie - great because when you take it off you can just wrap it around your waist! 10) Don't stress. Believe me when I say it will NOT be the end of the world if you can't get that $20 DVD player or $5 action figure! There's a good chance it'll be on sale again before Xmas anyway for only a few dollars more - and those few dollars are NOT a big enough difference to sacrifice your sanity! Good luck everyone!

#33 Scanner420  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 30, 2007 - 12:23 am

All of the above and also..bring an empty "Snapple" bottle (wide mouth opening.) Just in case you need to pee!!! :beer:

#34 ohitsunshine  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 30, 2007 - 1:46 am

10) Don't stress. Believe me when I say it will NOT be the end of the world if you can't get that $20 DVD player or $5 action figure! There's a good chance it'll be on sale again before Xmas anyway for only a few dollars more - and those few dollars are NOT a big enough difference to sacrifice your sanity! I second this. I started my BF ritual at 17 years old when I decided to venture out just for the fun of it. No one in my family goes or went. I loved it, especially since I wasnt trying desperately to get ONE thing...actually I dont think I got anything that year I just wanted to be there. Sometimes you get too caught up to not relax and enjoy the pandamonium. All these are great tips....where can you find what stores price match?

#35 chilimak  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 30, 2007 - 6:26 am

You can probably just call stores and ask if they price match. Anymore, I think just about all stores price match. They don't price match % off sales, but most stores will price match actual sale prices in a sale flyer. This goes for all year round too, not just at Christmas. Hope this helps. I agree, sometimes it is fun to just relax and enjoy the craziness of the experience. Its not the end of the world if you don't get what you want for the absolute lowest price. Most of the popular items will be on sale again for a little bit more. Have fun. Elena

#36 erh12275  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 30, 2007 - 7:39 am

For those of us that have 24hr stores that actually stay open, go early. Get the stuff you want to price match and put it in your cart. That way that part of it is out of the way and all you have to focus on at 5 is the BF items from there. Also, adding on to what Brad said....if you buy the items online alot of the stores have free shipping or free after rebate(Sears had this for the last 2 years) or free shipping if you spend x amount. And alot of states don't charge sales tax for online orders(mine isn't one of them.) So you may actually save by buying online.

#37 Guest_Metallion_*  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 30, 2007 - 4:37 pm

most stores that price match only price match when their customer service area is open, and it's closed until noon at many of them on Black Friday. Of course this is when the sales end

#38 Livin4Real  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 30, 2007 - 11:14 pm

So there won't be a walmart ad posted this year?

#39 elite2058  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 30, 2007 - 11:42 pm

I brought my dd last year and she really had a great time. It helped when Meijers limited the DS lite to one per family in line and the grandma who wasn't buying one let her pretend she was with her. I had to call hubby up and bring cash, but it worked.

#40 mhael  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 31, 2007 - 10:53 pm

Thanks for the advice I am looking forward to my first real year to do real BF shopping

#41 secretagent2006  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 31, 2007 - 11:34 pm

As an insider (in-store, plain-clothed, security) that has worked EVERY BF for the past 6 or 7 years, I say you ALL have given GREAT advice... Here are a few of my observations... *Don't steal, it just ruins your shopping experience, lol! (I've nabbed a TON on BF) *No carts, people that get carts LOSE valuable shopping time on BF *I say, ladies, NO PURSES, I have seen NUMEROUS people get their purses stolen on BF, the crooks love this day just as you do...Why? Because you are more focused on shopping than what is around your shoulder. I've seen women just leave their purse on an endcap while fighting for the last $5 toy or whatever. This is a GREAT tip, I have caught on to by being in certain stores... *In our area, there are (and I am not lying you can look it up) over 12 Wal-Marts within about a 30 radius. I'm serious there is one every 5 miles up and down the freeway and in the cities as well. But here is my tip...most people come into the city centers here because that is where the shopping is massed. Well, there are also SEVERAL of what I call, "RURAL" Wal-Mart's. They're in smaller towns on the outlying areas of the larger city center. These stores (when I have worked them on BF) have FAR LESS people and FAR MORE selection than some of the stores in the city because the managers planned on big crowds for BF, but got small crowds instead. I have found that many BF items at these "RURAL" stores sit throughout the day and rarely sell out. Those are just a few tips I have gathered...hope it helps... Ohhh...if you have a family member that works for a newspaper agency, or live near a newspaper depot, you might be able to sweet talk a carrier to get you some extra BF ads...or if all else fails make copies.

#42 backpacktwc  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 1, 2007 - 5:39 pm

Here are my tips. 1. Definitely scope out the stores the night before. Wal-Mart is the exception, because they wheel items out that morning (ours are 24 hours). 2. Do not get a cart, I've seen fist fights over a cart. The exception here is Kohl's, my dw and I tag-team. We'll get a cart and get in line, while the other is retrieving items. Works like a charm. We usually do Kohl's last, we'll get luggage or some other odd item. IF they don't have it, they're on sale the week after for about $10 more. 3. Have a game plan figured out before going. It is always better to be over prepared than winging it. You'll have a better chance of getting what you want. 4. The first store, window shop when you get there, try to find what you want so when the doors open, you can go right to it. 5. We avoid CC and BB, electronics suck. At CC you stand in line for a day and a half, hopefully get an item ticket and spend all day checking out. 6. We make a shopping list of not only BF items, but what everyone wants/needs, sometimes you find clearance or other items while looking for something else. 7. Dress in layers, too hot take off, too cold put on clothes. Usually by store 2, you're sweating to death anyways. 8. Take snacks for in the car, or store. I'm diabetic, and if my sugar goes too low, I'll pass out. Sip, don't gulp, or you'll have to pee everywhere, taking away valuable shopping time. 9. The most important one, set two alarm clocks. One year, I set my clock for 4 PM, not AM. If one is wrong, you have a backup. Needless to say it was a bad BF year, with little in the ads, got up at 6 AM and still got all but one item on my list. Don't fret if you don't get something... 10. I lied, the most important thing is to look behind everything. People hide items they can't afford or hold. I've gotten many items this way. Good luck, but don't get in my way! ha ha. No really!

#43 BFQueenofNY  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 2, 2007 - 5:02 am

Yesterday I went into Walmart and bought 10 heat in the can coffees so that while I am on line I can keep warm.

Vicki
"Clearance shopping is my middle name"
:2popcorn: Mom to Nathan (11) and Shane (9) :gdcar:


#44 jellybean051901  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 2, 2007 - 11:00 pm

Put your running shoes on:D
Black Friday Shopaholic

#45 doodlesmom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 9, 2007 - 12:55 pm

1. Patience - very important 2. Make friends with the people you are in line with. I go by myself and one year Target was handing out doughnut and coffee. If helps to be friendly as they will run and get you coffee or you can and they will hold your place in line. 3. Go for the item you want the most first. Target is usually my first or second stop, Kohl's was my first stop last year because they opened earlier. I usually grab the items I want and know will be gone later in the day and go back to Target later later in the afternoon to shop some more. 4. Be prepared to walk, don't expect to find a good parking spot. Just be happy that you find a parking spot. 5. If you have several items make trips to your car and put them in the trunk. Its no fun carrying around a dozen bags and it makes it harder to shop and easier for thieves. 6. Patience, can't stress that enough. There are some really nice people out on BF and there are some really nasty people out. 7. Enjoy your self and have a good time. It's no fun if you are stressed because you didn't get that one item. Don't worry about it you will probably find it again before Christmas. Happy Shopping everyone!:D

#46 Caprice64  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 9, 2007 - 1:01 pm

Some stores will want to keep your ad if you price match (WM), so if you need more than one item PM'ed be sure you have enough ads.

#47 msluchie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 9, 2007 - 1:23 pm

How do you save to your hard-drive? I tried saving the pdf format, but I didn't know if it would still come up if the ad has been pulled down.

#48 vldanson  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 10, 2007 - 5:55 am

How do you save to your hard-drive? I tried saving the pdf format, but I didn't know if it would still come up if the ad has been pulled down.



I'm new but I usually highlight then copy the list an paste it into Excel aand save it as my BFYear File for easy sorting and prioritization. If you do a straight paste then it keeps the early bird and online icons. If you don't need those you can just text paste and it's quicker.

Becareful when prioritizing items or price comparing not to delete or override your original sheet. It may be easier to have an original file and a copy to work off just in case.

PDFs work, but for those items you are really interested in you may need to pdf their attached images too, if there are any.

#49 Bestbuy7  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 10, 2007 - 7:04 am

Also make sure that your GPS system is not visible inside your car. DO NOT leave bags/purse on your car seat. You might want to leave your jacket inside your car. In the mall its like 85+ degrees:yuck: .

#50 mesarobins  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 10, 2007 - 10:43 am

Just a thought on carts: sometimes if you are getting a large item you need a cart. Make sure you put something in the cart to identify it as yours. One year all I wanted on BF was kids bike on sale at WM. I had to leave my cart to grab the bike when they unwrapped them but then someone else nabbed my cart. I had to drag the bike through the store to get another cart, not a pretty picture on BF. LOL! But my daughter loved her bike that year so it was worth it!

#51 msluchie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2007 - 12:31 pm

I'm new but I usually highlight then copy the list an paste it into Excel aand save it as my BFYear File for easy sorting and prioritization. If you do a straight paste then it keeps the early bird and online icons. If you don't need those you can just text paste and it's quicker.

Becareful when prioritizing items or price comparing not to delete or override your original sheet. It may be easier to have an original file and a copy to work off just in case.

PDFs work, but for those items you are really interested in you may need to pdf their attached images too, if there are any.



THANKS!!!!!!!

#52 tiedyecandy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2007 - 8:19 pm

make sure you eat something before going out on BF or have a bag of snacks in the car so you won't waste time getting something to eat when you could be shopping!!

#53 dad2trips  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2007 - 8:45 pm

Plan, Plan, Plan - Know what you are getting - get in, get it, and get out. If your camping out - dress in layers (I'm in Ohio!). About a half hour before the store opens peel down so you don't run around the store in a sweat. Make friends in line. After spending several hours in line it's nice to have some people around you to watch your spot when you need to run to your vehicle or take a leak. Also nice that people know your face when others accuse you of line jumping when you get back from abreak. For door buster ticket items - get those last as they are guaranteed. Pick up the non-ticket hottest items first. Good luck all, Tim




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