The day after Thanksgiving, affectionately known as Black Friday, used to be a day spent lounging in your favorite over-stuffed chair, eating leftovers with the family, and flipping through the channels for something to watch. Those days, however, are long gone. With retailers offering extremely deep discounts on their products, and Christmas just around the corner, shoppers around the country awake as early as 1 a.m. (if they ever went to sleep at all) to find the best deal, stock up on the fresh toys and gear for their loved ones, and beat the rest of the hungry deal-seekers to the goods. With our simple guide to Black Friday, you too can hunt the treasure, and come up the victor.
Scout Your Location
The best way to succeed in any hunt is to know your terrain beforehand. A few weeks before the big day scout the local stores you want to hit up, look at the traffic and the number of cars in the lots. The fewer, the better, hit the less trafficked stores first.
Analyze the Ads
There are so many deals to be had sometimes we can get overwhelmed. Look closely at the ads for Black Friday and determine the best deals—and always look for the stores offering freebies, this can save you tons of cash.
Download Comparison Apps
Thank you technology! By downloading one of the dozens of comparison apps from your app store, you can see who’s actually offering the best deals and who’s blowing smoke.
It may seem old-school, but sometimes coupons are the best way to save cash and get an amazing deal. Coupons are only available per store, so collect the coupon books beforehand and make sure you bring them on the big day.
Create a Schedule
With all of the crowds, the pushing and shoving, the race to the deal, it’s best to have a plan of attack when it comes to your time. Know the stores you want to hit and map your path so that you can get from one to the other as efficiently as possible. Time is money, and on Black Friday, this is truer than ever.
Bring a Good Bag
When you’re out trying to score deals, you need to have a good, unmarked, and trustworthy bag along for the ride. A messenger bag is a great option as it’s easy for you to get into, and difficult for others to try to snag your wallet or goods.
The trek from one store to the next, in the wee hours of the morning, can be a long and difficult slog even for the veteran Black Friday adventurers among us. Don’t forget to bring water and a good, protein-filled snack (jerky anyone?). Also, don’t forget to gas your car the day before and please, don’t forget your wallet.
Black Friday is not unlike a good hunt. You have to prepare, scout, and pack in order to be successful on the big day. Our list gets you ready to be one step ahead of the pack, to score the deals, to come back home with the scent of success trailing right behind you.
Of course, you could also kick back on Cyber Monday, wearing your favorite sweats, maybe a whiskey in your morning coffee, snacking on your favorite jerky and wily finding the deals from the comfort of your home. The hunt is different for everyone; we just hope you enjoy it.