Hello. My name is Jessica, and I love Black Friday. There, I said it. But more than that, I can give my opinion on it from two standpoints: I worked in retail management, and I am an avid shopper. The struggle of Black Friday in the retail world is that you know your store will be the loudest, messiest, and most chaotic place on earth. But that was exactly what made it so worth it. Ironically, that is also the reason why I’m no longer in the retail business. As a shopper, it’s the one day of the year where you can run down aisles, put your hand on something and say “I got here first,” and actually buy that $800 TV for half price. Whoever you are, we can all agree that Black Friday is exhausting – but fear not! Here are a few pro tips on how to beat Black Friday before it beats you!
KNOW WHERE TO GO
If you do a search on the internet for Black Friday deals, there will be a lot of websites that pop up giving you the 411 on when and where the best deals are taking place. If you start your search early, you can see where last year’s deals were and get a nice idea of which store is going to run a similar deal this year. You can also search the hot sales according to your area. This will help you figure out what stores to hit when depending on the area you’re going to be shopping in. We’re going for maximum efficiency, dot all your i’s and cross those t’s!
MAP IT OUT
Listen, Black Friday is a competition. If you don’t know where that $5 toaster is sitting, you’re toast. Pun intended. The day before Thanksgiving, take a dry run over to the store that you know is going to be the busiest on your list. Take a look around the ends of aisles and large open spots for free-standing displays, but remember, it’s not uncommon for that handheld mixer to be hiding in the toddler boy’s section come shopping time. If possible, make a pal in the store. Find an employee with a friendly face and strike up a Black Friday convo. Ask questions about the products that you are looking for, deals, and possible product placement. Chances are if you’re a kind shopper, the employee will be more than willing to offer up some details.
GO VINA, GO!
The best part of shopping is doing it with friends. Grab your vina and decide where and what you both want to buy. One of you holds the place in line while the other makes the mad dash for that last phone stand/bottle opener. Plus you’ve got two extra elbows to help you make your way through the crowd. Never doubt the buddy system! Be on the lookout for your vina’s items, and your vina will look for yours. At the same time, agree that you will both grab whatever you think your vina may be interested in. You never know who might want that Star Wars dining set!
BE SAFE. BE SMART.
Remember that you will be out with a mass of people. Large crowds can create large problems. Be aware of your surroundings and carry as few personal items as possible. Take your cash or credit cards, ID, and the absolute bare necessities on your shopping trips to avoid being a target to predators. Make sure whatever you take with you is securely attached to you, no backpacks, back pockets, or slinky handbags. If ever there were a time to use a fanny pack (whether you think they’re totally making a comeback or should be left in the 90’s) that time is now. When packing things into your vehicle, throw in an extra coat or two to cover up the bags you leave in your car while going into another store.
Black Friday is a great way to score some awesome savings on those items that you’ve been wanting but can never afford at regular price. And if you do it right, you can get a crazy jump on the holidays. It can be a lot of fun to go out and see what you can score last minute, but it can be just as fun to chill at home with leftover pumpkin pie, fuzzy slippers, and a laptop waiting for Cyber Monday deals! Whatever you choose, be safe, have fun, and rock this holiday season!
Looking for your tribe to take on Black Friday with? Download the Hey! VINA app today and start swiping!