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Tips for a Successful Black Friday By Claire Chouinard

Over the years Black Friday is starting to become as big of a holiday as Thanksgiving. Stores are opening earlier and earlier and people are becoming more and more determined to find the best deals. Don’t get me wrong, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, but I have to admit that I become giddy while preparing for my Black Friday shopping trip. Here’s a few tips to remember as you get ready to shop!

Research:
I know research during school break sounds rough, but it will make your shopping trip run a lot smoother. I always love reading the ads after a huge turkey dinner, but you can get a head start now and check out the deals on these websites:
http://www.bfads.net/
http://www.theblackfriday.com/

Have a Plan:
Last year I went Black Friday shopping with no purpose and it was a huge mistake. The sales can be overwhelming and it gets hard not to buy something just because it’s such a good deal. First, set a budget and know exactly who you are shopping for and a good idea of what you want to get them. Next, plan out what stores you are going to and how long you plan to be in each one. Trust me, it’s really easy to spend two hours in Target and not realize what time it is.

Fuel Up:
All that turkey makes you ready to sleep for days. If you are starting Thursday night or really early Friday morning make sure to run through a Starbucks drive-thru or grab a Red Bull before you start shopping. Also, keep a few snacks in your car to help you keep energy throughout your shopping trip!

Read the Fine Print:
If an ad has a big screen TV on sale but in the fine print it only says they have one, it’s not worth standing in line for. Chances are other stores will have similar prices with more selection. Also, make sure you check out return policies. Sometimes returns are only allowed for a week or two.

Divide and Conquer:
So many good sales, so little time. Take a shopping buddy and split your list in half. Double the sales, half the time. Whether you’re in the same store or different stores make sure to have a meeting time and place. Also, if you’re sleep deprived make sure you’re communicating. You don’t want to accidentally end up with five TVs because of miscommunication.

Don’t Lose Your Holiday Spirit:
One thing that drives me crazy about Black Friday is when people turn into the Grinch. You are going to have to stand in line and it’s going to be crowded, it all comes with the territory. Just try to keep your cool and bring a book to read while you wait in line to help pass the time. Also, whatever you do, do not push and shove people just to get to an item. There is no sale that is worth putting someone in danger.

Stay at Home:
A lot of stores now have the same exact Black Friday sales online. If not, Cyber Monday has great deals, sometimes even better than Black Friday. Warning: shop at your own risk, sometimes websites crash when too many people are shopping at once.

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