5 Tips for Beating the Black Friday Blues

Jesse L. graduated from a small business school in Indiana in May 2010. He blogs all across the internet and has a keen interest in social media, data visualization, and gadgets.

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It can be a pretty surreal moment when you find yourself standing in front of the cold glass doors at the entrance to the mall surrounded by hundreds of other impatient shoppers who are also running on three hours of sleep and last night’s turkey dinner. It’s desperate people like these that will trample you in a second for their 15% discount, so you better believe it’s in your best interest to come armed with a plan on Black Friday. Okay, so your experience probably won’t be that dramatic, but why take chances? Prepare for the worst and you’ll always come out on top.

Tip #1: Plan Out Every Minute

Only amateurs create schedules by the hour. An experienced Black Friday shopper knows that every minute counts when it comes to the best deals. Think twice about hitting that snooze button: hourly sales means that your purchase may be $50 at 11:59 a.m. and $100 at noon. Prioritize your target stores and write down the exact expiration times of sales. This will help you get the most out of the deals available.

Tip #2: Split Up

It may be harder to carry all your things when you’re shopping solo, but splitting up is the most efficient way to hit as many stores as possible and take advantage of timed sales. Mom can get all the shopping done on the east side of town and Dad can hit all the stores on the west side. That way you minimize drive

time (i.e. avoid nightmarish Black Friday traffic) and get double the shopping done.

Tip #3: Camp Out

If there’s one particular sale that it would kill you to miss, you can dramatically increase your odds of being first in line if you camp out right at the site. Sleeping in your car is always an option, but if you’re a die-hard shopper consider a sturdy tent with no outer zippers and a baseball bat– just in case.

Tip #4: Set Limitations Beforehand

You may have already grown accustomed to over-consumption after that fourth helping of Thanksgiving dinner, but try not to get stir crazy at the 75% off sale. If you’ve been planning to take advantage of the Black Friday washer sale for weeks, you don’t have to get the matching dryer too just because it’s buy one get one half off. Keep a set figure in your checking account to ensure a self-disciplined and budget-friendly holiday.

Tip #5: Keep a Zen-like State of Mind

Ignore the obvious irony of mixing materialism with Buddhism and just hear this out: Black Friday is going to be a madhouse. Not only are you going to be competing with hoards of frantic, sleep-deprived shoppers for a pair of shoes, but you’re going to have to deal with overbearing sales associates taking advantage of your vulnerable, frenzied state in an effort to keep that cash register ringing. Avoid caffeine, as tired as you may be, and take a moment to breathe every now and then. Don’t overwhelm yourself and leave earlier than the others. Your wallet and your mind will thank you. 

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