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CanIGetAWhat
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:32 PM
Shop like a champ on Black Friday

By Jon Ann Steinmetz, Yahoo! Shopping Editor

Holiday shopping, especially on the day after Thanksgiving, is becoming a sport unto itself - after all, who wouldn't feel victorious about scoring a coveted bauble at a bargain price (http://shopping.yahoo.com/b:Bargains%20%26%20Sales:40454028;_ylt=AqwCPIobEN. ETzjajzSWMPWc0cUu;_ylu=X3oDMTBiODExbWt2BHNlYwNhcnR pY2xl)? So while it may not require the training of the football teams we cheer on Thanksgiving Day, it still pays to get in shape for the rigors of "Black Friday" and beyond.

Here are some tips we've compiled to keep you in good cheer as you bob and weave through the crowds. They come courtesy of Edgar Dworsky, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general and founder of the consumer education Web site http://www.consumerworld.org (http://www.consumerworld.org/); the National Federation of Retailers; KB Toys; and our own hard-won experience.

Read the ads: Check out newspapers on Thanksgiving Day. They will be chock-full of circulars, ads and coupons. Friday's papers will include additional sales, but Thursday has the best items. If a store can't get it together to advertise Thursday, then the featured products probably won't be the hottest stuff around.

If your area has multiple newspapers, buy them all - some advertisers don't run in every paper, so cover all the bases.
Make a plan: Make a list of the gifts (http://shopping.yahoo.com/b:Holiday%20Gifts%20%26%20Gift%20Ideas:784712816;_ ylt=ApwTzh1FkZnLzqbYruZIrnOc0cUu;_ylu=X3oDMTBiODEx bWt2BHNlYwNhcnRpY2xl) you need to purchase, then determine the order of stores you will shop to get the gifts you want. With the crowds and the competition, this is not for the faint of heart. Whiners and uncommitted shoppers will slow you down and get on your nerves - they're best left at home to make turkey salad from the leftovers.
Be an early bird: Determine your arrival time based on how badly you want the product and how good the deal is. If there's something you really must have, be prepared to get in line one to three hours before the store opens. Most stores target the first four or five hours for the hot deals -- after 11 a.m. or noon, most of these deals expire.
Be an even earlier bird: Some Black Friday deals may also be available online, so visit retailers' Web sites in the wee hours of Black Friday to see if you can beat the crowd.
Foster teamwork: Bring a friend, or assemble an entire shopping team and give each member specific assignments. Leave beginners or people with bad "juju" behind. They will spoil the hunt and make you grumpy when you should be excited. It's all about survival of the fittest, and naysayers are like lame members of the tribe - food for scavengers. Leave them.
Check your equipment: Comfortable shoes and loose-fitting clothing are a must. Charge your cell phone. Check with your bank or credit card company to ensure your account is up to date. Finally, gas up the car! Designate a driver who can meet the team at a pre-determined mall entrance to move you to the next location. This will also eliminate the hunt for the elusive parking space. You may have to drop and roll if there is a massive rush for the door. Walk it off and get the deal!
Keep your energy up: Bring a cooler filled with leftovers and turkey sandwiches so you don't suffer food-court delays. Most beginners will not eat and will be low-blood sugar meanies - stay away from them.
Save with "triple plays": Buy an item offered at a good sale price, use a coupon and look for items with cash-back rebates. If you belong to a store's frequent buyer program, this will be a perfect time for double/triple rewards programs. Also, use credit cards or debit cards with reward points - get all the extras you can get.
Keep watching the price: Stores that offer price protection may refund you money if the seller or a competitor offers a lower price on the item you bought before Christmas.

Helen Lawson
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:40 PM
Helen's advice: Go to a nice, expensive store and buy whatever suits your fancy at the time.

Bayo
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:41 PM
I did the Day After sales with my Aunt one time. It was a nightmare.

Ferosh
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:46 PM
I already did all my holiday shopping online. No way am I going to the stores after thanksgiving.

CanIGetAWhat
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:53 PM
I did the Day After sales with my Aunt one time. It was a nightmare.I love how crazy people get, fighting over products. :lol:

hurricanejeanne
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:54 PM
I did the Day After sales with my Aunt one time. It was a nightmare.

I did it once too, with a bunch of friends once.
Those mom's near the toy stores in the mall are insane.

Never went back again on Black Friday.

I've done most of my shopping online, I'm just waiting for the crap to show up...

Bayo
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:10 PM
I did it once too, with a bunch of friends once.
Those mom's near the toy stores in the mall are insane.

Never went back again on Black Friday.

I've done most of my shopping online, I'm just waiting for the crap to show up...
The year I went, they were just throwing out trashbags for people to fill up in the KB Toys at the mall.

The electronics stores (Circuit City, Best Buy, etc.) always seem to be the worst. I think we were stuck the Best Buy parking lot alone for around 2 hours.