A Guide to Chasing Deals During the Madness: Black Friday

Many people are intimidated by the reputation of Black Friday. Sure, it can be crazy, but with a little planning you’ll not only walk away unscathed, but also some great deals, sometimes without even having to set foot in a store.

First and foremost, know what you want and where it is. Homework is key to a quick and relatively easy shopping experience. Scour your local circular ads and online sites for prices. Tons of great deals are available online and in stores before Thanksgiving even starts. Sites like ebates.com and savings.com are just a couple of great sites offering discounts and coupons for many of your favorite stores and shopping sites.

Be sure to compare prices between stores, and remember some stores are willing to match a competitor’s price, so be sure to hang onto those ads for later. After you’ve decided what you’ll have to leave the house for, consolidate what you’ll need at each of the stores you’ll be shopping at for maximum efficiency, and fewer trips.

Finding a shopping friend is incredibly helpful, as another set of hands and feet can help track down deals faster, and for each other. Many stores offer maps of their stores online, which is very helpful in coordinating your shopping directions.

Remember, the early bird gets the worm, and on Black Friday they’re out in flocks. Getting to the store before they open is key to securing that amazing deal. Remember, when a store is offering a deal that seems too good to be true, you won’t be the only one waiting at the door. So be ready to be there early, dressed appropriately, with a snack (for waiting for the opening, and for standing in line) and have something to drink, but be wary about drinking too much when standing in a long line, bathroom breaks can cost you a good spot in a long line.

Once you and your fellow shopper are in, follow the planned shopping course, don’t push, try not to run, and enjoy the great deals.

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