Black Friday Shopping Tips: Get Ready for the Super Bowl of Sales

Black Friday is Super Bowl of shopping.

Think about it. The television hype and advertising starts weeks before the big day. Retailers compete in their own playoffs; the stores with the lowest prices advance to the rest of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday even kicks off with its own wild card weekend, as businesses now open as early as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

If you want to make it to the Shopping Bowl, make sure to keep your eyes on the prize. Limber up, grab your helmet, and prepare for the big savings game on Black Friday by following these tips.

  • Practice. You won’t catch the Hail Mary if you sit on the sidelines all season. Spend the days leading up to Black Friday by researching what time stores open, how many deals will be in stock, and any quantity limits per customer. Scope out unfamiliar retail locations to avoid missing deals on game day because you can’t find a parking spot.
  • Create Your Game Plan. Black Friday shopping requires its own playbook. Study your holiday gift list, compare it to retailers’ advertisements, and prioritize your purchases. The 60-inch television you’ve been ogling is likely marked down enough to make it worth fighting the crowds; next year’s desk calendar probably is not. You’ll score the most points – and knock out the biggest chunk of your list – by choosing retail locations that feature multiple stores or deals.
  • Gear Up. Don’t hit the playing field without your wallet (including cash or credit cards), coupons, snacks, and beverages in an-easy-to-carry bag. Layer clothing so that you can easily acclimate to different store temperatures, and stow an umbrella in your car in case of weather surprises.
  • Bench Distractions. Despite their best intentions, children can be counterproductive to your Black Friday goals. Diaper changes and tantrums can pull you out of line, and rambunctious crowds can be dangerous for kids. If possible, find a babysitter or Drop ‘n’ Shop program for all or part of the day. Your children will socialize with other elves while you breeze through Santa’s list.

Most importantly, play to win. You won’t win the trophy sales on Black Friday if you don’t show up!

More From This Contributor:

Three Ways to Stay on Budget This Holiday Gift-Giving Season

10 Failproof Holiday Gifts for Pittsburgh Steelers Fans

Ignite Your Natitude: Holiday Shopping for Your Washington Nationals Fan

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