Black Friday is a coveted shopping day for those looking to purchase a gift at sale prices. Now these prices aren’t just discounted, but you can find certain items at its lowest prices of the year on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
As I have ventured out on Black Friday the past few years in Sacramento, I’ve found that the early bird gets the worm. If there is a must-have item on your list, you had better set those alarm clocks so that you can be among the first in line to enter the store.
There was one year when I didn’t get out early enough, but still found pretty good deals, especially from retailers who had early bird deals that extended until noon. At the Toys R Us in Arden, I found plenty of great prices that included an early bird price incentive. These prices were good usually until noon or 1 p.m.
So, here are some tips before venturing out.
- Make your list – Make sure to have an idea of what you plan to buy. Black Friday early morning shopping is not the ideal time to browse the aisles. So instead, scour the store’s weekly or special holiday ads, which are found in either the previous Sunday or Wednesday Sacramento Bee or at the retailer’s Web site. You can also visit the following Black Friday Web sites: BlackFriday.net, Black Friday Ads, and GottaDeal. Circle the items or write down a list of items. Also, write down any alternatives for your items to optimize your visit.
- Plan your route – If you are visiting more than one mall and/or retailer, make sure to plan your time accordingly. Find and map the locations of your shopping stops so that you can get to each place at a reasonable time to take advantage of the day’s sales.
- Don’t shop alone – Black Friday is not the day to go solo or want some alone time. A shopping buddy will hold your place in the cashier’s line, help you lift a heavy electronics item, or push an extra shopping cart. Plus, they can protect your cart and finds from being pilfered.
- Divide and conquer – Now that you have your buddy, consider a divide and conquer strategy. For example, if a new television set (electronics department) and the lastest, greatest doll (toy department) is on your gift list, it will be easier to cover these separate departments when there at least two of you. Time is of the essence, sometimes it’ll take only minutes when a popular item is no longer on the shelves.
- Bring home the goods – Make sure to bring furniture pads or blankets and ropes or straps to help secure any large items for transport. Sometimes, large items may have to be removed from its box or any other packing material. So you’ll need protective and fastening items to hold your item in place so you can get your purchase home safe and sound.
- Eat wisely – Make sure to eat a filling and balanced meal to give you enough energy to get you through this shopping marathon. So opt for whole grains and protein and leave the hearvy, carb-laden foods behind.
- Don’t lose hope – If visiting a brick and mortar wasn’t successful, perhaps doing your shopping online on Cyber Monday will come to the rescue in finding the perfect gift. Visit CyberMonday.com the following Monday to find deals from more than 500 retailers. You’ll find sales, hourly deals and free shipping.
Shopping Malls to Visit for Black Friday
Going to indiviudal stores are just as good, and sometimes even better, than going to the mall. Here is a list of popular retailers to visit on Black Friday. Click on the store’s name to find a location near you.