Prepping for Black Friday: Avoid Huge Crowds and Get Great Deals

Friday, October 21, 2011

Black Friday holds mystical opportunities for consumerism and self-indulgence that comes but once a year. The deals and steals available on the Friday after Thanksgiving are enough to make a used car salesman blush. Whether you’re starting off the Christmas shopping season by trolling for the best swag for others or just racking up top quality, cheap stuff for yourself, Black Friday is an opportunity-ridden, pedestrian shopping nightmare. What a lot of shoppers don’t realize is that you can easily avoid all the mad chaos by investing in a little prep time and shopping online on the big day. Cyber Monday does not hold the monopoly on online sales time. Follow these tips to save money while staying out of the heavily trafficked stores.

Scout Ahead

In the weeks before Black Friday, retailers and news agencies will start to spread rumors and tips about what might be going on sale and for how much. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick a handful of your favorite retailers and track their sale news. By choosing your retailers ahead of time, you decrease the chances of being caught unawares by surprise sales. Also, you limit the chances of expensive impulse buys; by choosing to track certain retailers, you are choosing which types of products you most want to buy, and focusing on those will keep you from making random purchases just because the sale is great. Troll the interwebs to see what different sources are saying about your retailers.

Subscribe to Newsletters and Emails

Retailers sometimes reward their loyal followers by leaving tips, giving insider information, or in some cases even providing promo codes enclosed in newsletters and emails. Subscribe to as much as you can, and you might not even have to go searching for Black Friday deals; retailer might send them right to your inbox!

Like and Follow

As with newsletter and email subscriptions, engaging with your favorite brands via social media can be a phenomenal way to gain exclusive access to insider information and upcoming promotion deals. Like the Facebook pages of particular brands and Follow their Twitter feeds. Make sure to engage with the official pages and feeds. If you have trouble finding the verified accounts, go to the brand’s official website and look for their social media links; these will lead you to the official social media pages for that brand.

Pick Your Battles and Get Comfy

The trick with beating the Black Friday crowds is not to face them at all. Stay at home, make sure you’re Internet connection is up and running, and shop as much as you can from home. Don’t spend hours out in the cold waiting to be trampled by hoards of testy shoppers. Wrap up in a Snuggie and log on to your favorite retailers’ websites to see what sales are available. Complete all your shopping from the comfort of your own home. Since quite a few other people will be doing this same thing, be patient if the sites are a bit slow because of all the traffic. But a lagging connection is a small price to pay for not having to fight with the crowd.

Author: Analise Marcus can think of no better way to walk off a Thanksgiving turkey dinner than with a Black Friday shopping spree. She is always on the lookout for Black Friday deals from all kinds of retailers both in stores and online.