Black Friday tips from the pros

There’s been a lot of complaining and judging going on about Black Friday/Thanksgiving shopping, and I’m here to tell you that it’s OK to go shopping tomorrow.

It’s OK. It’s doesn’t make you a bad person.

I’ll be there, and I don’t hate my family and I’m not a demon-possessed maniac. I just like shopping, and it’s something me and MY family do together.

So, here’s some of my tips, mixed in with a good list I found on the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle website – the best I could find – for making your Black Friday trip a success.

I’ll post pics from ours!

  • Shop in waves. Retailers aren’t releasing all their bargains at the opening bell this year. Some, like Wal-Mart, are having some sales at 6 p.m., some at 8 p.m., and so on. The new process is more complicated, but staggering the sales may increase your odds of getting that special deal. Mall stores will also have staggered openings. Decide if you’re a night owl or an early bird and make your game plan.
  • And about that plan … You have to be organized to get the deals. Peruse the circulars Thursday morning and make a list. Decide what you really cannot do without and head first to the store selling it. It could be toys for the kids or a flat-screen TV for your family room. Many stores have online shopping lists that you can fill out and send to your mobile phone to help you stay on track. [We always have a plan together, and we also have a contingency plan if our top priorities don’t work out]
  • Get social. Use social media to find out about deals as well by following stores on Twitter and Facebook. You can receive extra deals from the stores. You can also track on Twitter if deals are worth it or if sale items are sold out throughout Brown Thursday/Black Friday.
  • Divide and conquer. If you’re in line with your friends and relatives, divvy up that list and have each person head to one department for the entire team. Have Mom go to the toy department while you go to electronics and BFF scouts out holiday decor. [YES YES YES]
  • Dress in layers. While it’s freezing cold outside, the stores are toasty warm. I wear my silk long johns to stay warm while waiting outside. They aren’t bulky once I get inside a store.
  • Think outside the box. The stores around the central hubs such as Henrietta and Victor will be crowded. If you have specific items on your list, you might try a standalone store. I was able to get a big TV at the Chili Target a few years back without having to wait in line outside in the cold for too long.
  • Shop during the slow times. Every store has a lull time during Brown Thursday/Black Friday after the initial rush. Once the first wave of bargain hunters check out, the stores are easier to get around in. I was at Eastview Mall at 5 a.m. with my daughter the past two years and noticed that stores began to slow by around 7 a.m. By 8 a.m., we were at a not-too-crowded food court enjoying breakfast.

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