How to Strategize Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday has now become Black Thursday for most stores. If you wait until Thanksgiving to start making plans for Black Friday you will miss out on all the good sales. Do your research and plan for Black Friday now. A good way to get started would be to go to BlackFriday.com and download the mobile app on iOS and Android devices. They claim to be the authority on Black Friday deals and holiday shopping. I think they have done a really good job of being on top of things. Be sure to sign up for e-updates. To make sure that you have the accurate ads buy a Thanksgiving Day newspaper and check the store websites on your list.

What do consumers need to do to prepare for a marathon day of Black Friday shopping?
To make the most out of Black Friday draw up a Black Friday map. Most stores use Facebook and Twitter. Check with the store websites for the best prices. It is a good idea to stay in touch with family members and friends through Facebook, Twitter and cell phone texting. Communicate with each other through the aisles. Make a plan to meet up at the cash register.

Pack bottled water and snacks to eat when you are hungry so you do not have to waste time stopping to eat. Wear comfortable walking shoes. You are going to be doing a lot of walking and standing in line. The most important thing to do for Black Friday is fill your gas tank the night before. Leave early so that you can get a parking spot. The parking lots fill up fast.

What are some good items to have on hand to make the process easier?
All the Black Friday sale ads use to be in the Thanksgiving Day newspaper. Now with Black Friday beginning on Thanksgiving Day you need to start buying the daily newspaper several days before Black Friday. For those of you who do not go to your mailbox for two weeks at a time you will need to check your mailbox every day for Black Friday sale ads and store coupons. Do not forget to print out store coupons and bring the ads with you. If you are going to a store for the first time on Black Friday it would be a good idea to walk through the store earlier than Black Friday and find out where everything is. Check your purse or wallet the night before to make sure you have your charge cards and enough cash to go shopping. Use the store credit card at the store that issued you the charge card so that you get all of their perks.

What types of items should Black Friday shoppers focus on trying to score deals on?
I think the big items for 2013 are going to be electronics. Everyone is using cell phones, laptops, iPads, tablets, iPods/MP3 Players and Kindles/Nooks. Every family wants a big screen TV. Do not feel sad if you do not get the item that you wanted. Last year I wanted a GPS. I ran to the store later in the day after the Black Friday specials were over with. I saw a lot of inventory left. Walmart seems to always have extra electronics left in the evening after Black Friday. I tried to pick up a GPS at Walmart. They did not have any left. An employee told me to check online because he thought they still had them for that price. The same GPS that I missed on Black Friday was available from Walmart online up until the first of the New Year. My motto is never give up. If you missed something you may be able to go online and order the item with free delivery. Whenever I want something that is sold out at Best Buy they ask me if they can order it for me. I can either get it delivered to my home with free delivery or I can pick it up at the Best Buy store.

Walmart is having a pre-black Friday sale on Friday, November 22, 2013, starting at 8 AM. They are price-matching doorbusters from Target, Best Buy and Toys R Us. Right after Christmas 2012 I heard in the news that the best deals were not on Black Friday. The best deals were much earlier in the season. Do not wait until Black Friday to start planning your strategy.

Thanksgiving Day Store Opening Times
Kmart is opening at 6 AM. They are having a triple doorbuster sale. Toys R Us is opening at 5 PM. Best Buy and Walmart are opening at 6 PM. Target is opening at 8 PM. It is fair to say that Walmart is offering the best deals. If you get there between 6 PM to 7 PM and they sell out of the doorbuster item you want you will get a voucher to buy the same item for the same price online. Walmart is determined to be one step ahead of all competitors on Black Thursday and Black Thanksgiving.

Deals Online
Amazon.com says it will match Walmart and Target doorbuster prices throughout the weekend. Walmart and Target advertise they will match prices, even from some online retailers. Staples will match Amazon.com prices. There is always a catch, model, brand, size, color and anything else must match exactly. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are not included.

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