Wednesday, November 27, 2013 , Updated 7:00 a.m., November 29, 2013
Shopping tips for a (nearly) seamless Black Friday
Perhaps most importantly, don't be a jerk!
Thanksgiving comes late this year – November 28 to be exact. And if you’re like me, you’ll spend the better part of the day after Thanksgiving in a turkey and red wine induced coma. However, if you’re one of those productive people who likes to get things done, you’re probably all geared up to go Black Friday shopping this year. I’ve worked in retail, and out of respect for those unfortunate souls that still do, I usually steer clear of all that madness. Then again, you can’t argue with a bargain, and with all the new merchandise coming out this holiday season (PS4, Xbox 1, need I say more?) Black Friday will be your best chance to score some major deals. Here are a few tips to help you survive the rampage fueled shopping spree that is, Black Friday! (Cue scary sound effects)
Get there early — No, seriously like, insanely early. Many hardcore Black Friday shoppers have taken to camping out at their store of choice directly after Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t get it. I’m not judging you – well maybe I am a little – but I seriously don’t get it. However, if you want to compete with the crazies, you better do the same. Don’t expect to stroll in around noon and find anything left on the shelves. You will be sorely disappointed.
Shop online — It used to be that Black Friday was for shopping in stores, and Cyber Monday was left for shopping online. However, according to Steve Schaffer, CEO of Offers.com, “It’s now kind of morphed into holiday-weekend shopping. It’s going to start Wednesday and end Monday. Five days of deals, sales and offers.” If you’d rather shop in the comfort of your own home while snacking on leftovers, than wait outside in the cold for hours just so you can fight with crazy grandmas for the last Furby doll, then you are smart and I commend you. Here’s a list of the best online shopping sites for this upcoming holiday season.
Have a strategy — If this is your first time Black Friday shopping you’re in for a surprise. You’ll be amazed at just how vicious people can get when they see a "50 percent off" sticker on a flat screen T.V. This is not the time for idly strolling through the aisles to see what looks good. Your best bet is to have a game plan before you walk through the doors. Know the layout of the store you’re shopping in, and what items you’ll be shopping for. Most stores will gladly provide you with information on what items will be on sale. Head for the big ticket items first, as these will be the first ones to sell out. The trick here is to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Don't be a jerk — To some, Black Friday shopping can be invigorating, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating, tiresome, and extremely aggravating. Don’t be the person who makes the evening news because they ran down an old lady with their shopping cart – unless she’s really asking for it. If you need one PS4, buy one PS4! If you plan on buying five and selling four of them online, you are a jerk and there’s a reason nobody likes you. Above all, be nice to the employees. Remember, they’re the only people in the store that actually have to be there, and they are not happy about it, trust me. They don’t get paid enough to put up with your bullshit.
One of the major controversies this holiday season is that many of the stores will be open the day of Thanksgiving, forcing their employees to work when they should be at home with their families. What are your thoughts on this? Is it right to make retail employees work during the holiday? Have we become too materialistic as a country, or is our capitalist economy made for all day, every day shopping with no exceptions? I’m interested to hear what you think.
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