This week ... the day after Thanksgiving is BLACK FRIDAY. I don't usually shop on this day. I do not like crowds of people and I certainly do NOT go to the cities on this day but since I am waaaaay behind on my Christmas shopping this year ... well I need to hit our local big box store for some of the sale items as they are on my list.
I started talking to some of the ladies at work and there is a whole "science" to this day and how shopping is done. WOW! I never would have guessed that it is such a big deal. I have seen news footage of stampedes at some centers in large cities in the past that might be offering a dynamite deal but here? In our small area? The cities are an hour and a half away and apparently many, many people make the trip to pick up the deals ... who would have thunk?
Talking with these ladies, I have picked up some hints and tips on 'how' to shop on this day so if you are planning on heading out, maybe some of these tips will help.
- Eat a big breakfast. Your body needs fuel to shop. You don't want to be stuck in a line for hours, only to pick up junk food at the cash register because you are starving.
- Carry a water bottle in your bag/purse. Being thirsty is not fun and the mall's environment tends to be drier this time of the year.
- Head to the washrooms for a break when you see one. Don't wait until you have to go ... the line ups can be extremely long.
- Do your research. Buy locally made, quality made items when possible. It will pay off in the long run.
- Browse the deals before you go. You want to head to the store that offers the best price to help stay within the budget.
- Bring ads with you. Being in a store that is crammed with shoppers grabbing items, it can be confusing when similar products are side by side. If you have the ad with you, you will be certain to have the correct sale item before you get to the register. Some stores also offer 'lowest price guarantee'. You will need the ad to prove a competitor is priced lower to receive price difference.
- Early Bird and Night Owl specials. These are intended to draw people in at different times of the day, hoping to alleviate congestion at the most popular early afternoon hours. The deals can be worth setting the alarm earlier or staying up later!
- Know the store policies on returns and exchanges. Familiarizing yourself on the store's policy will ensure a happy recipient if the gift needs to be taken back.
- Don't forget the gift receipt. Many stores will do this automatically but watch out as cashiers can be forgetful too.
- Last but not least .... have fun! Enjoy the ambiance and know that you will be sipping on an eggnog come Christmas Eve with your gifts all wrapped and under the tree because you finished shopping early in the season.
Let me know how your shopping went if you venture out and remember to give your loved ones a hug!