The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is the busiest shopping day of the year as the nation turns its attention from turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie to preparing for the winter holiday season. Retail stores are eager to earn their share of the holiday shopping blitz, so they put on their best sales of the year, pulling out all stops to attract holiday shoppers. Black Friday is so named because it marks the time of year when retailers' profits hopefully go "into the black." If you're in South Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday and want to hit Black Friday in Miami's shopping malls or the boutiques of South Beach, plan on making the most of this special shopping day.
Tips for a Successful Black Friday Shopping Spree in Miami
- Plan ahead. This is the key to success on Black Friday. If you're going to wake up early to beat the crowds, know where you want to visit and when. Get the newspapers (the Sun-Sentinel newspaper carries all the Black Friday ads), go online, or use the stores' phone apps for information and sit down on Thanksgiving Day to plot your strategy. Prioritize your visits to stores based on the deals you most want to snatch up. Given the crazy traffic patterns in Miami, you'll want to organize your route geographically as well. There's no sense in starting out at The Falls, then heading to South Beach, only to backtrack to Bal Harbour Shops.
- Start at the busiest spots first. Expect to see a giant crowd at hotspots such as Dolphin Mall. If such a mega-shopping destination is on your hit list, visit it as early in the day as possible. Some stores, such as those in Dadeland Mall and Miami International Mall, start their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving night and go into the wee hours of Friday morning.
- Snatch up the doorbusters while they last. The doorbuster deals advertised on the front page of Black Friday ads are almost always either limited in quantity or available only during specific, limited hours. Settle on a few that are on your must-have list and plan to be at the store as soon as the doors open, or even before.
- Factor in meals. Don't forget that a well-nourished shopper is a better shopper. You won't want to detract from the early morning power-shopping hours, so bring a thermos of coffee and a box of granola bars with you in the car and plan a lunch stop for later in the day when you're ready for a break. Shopping on an empty stomach is never a good idea.
- Don't spend more than you can afford. Resist the temptation to break the bank in one crazed shopping day. The holiday season presents great shopping deals all the way to Christmas, so make a budget for Black Friday spending and stick to it. Start by making a list of who you want to buy holiday gifts for, as well as items you want to buy for yourself. Clip coupons for those items and scour the ads for the stores with the best prices.