Tip Tuesday — Black Thursday

In an email about the Day After Thanksgiving sales, a friend asked me to do a Tip Tuesday about it. She said:

This is the first time I’m going to brave the crazy American tradition and I’m not sure how to do it. I have specific items I need and have no clue which stores to go to. I don’t get the newspaper and my husband refuses to watch commercials so I feel pretty much [lost] to know which store will have my “must have” item and do I really need to go at 4:30 in the morning and stand in line with a bunch of other people who will probably be heading for the same stinking department as me?

Here are a few of my tips:

-YOU NEED A NEWSPAPER — PERIOD. If you’re not gonna get the ads and plan it out, there’s no point in going.
-Go to the 7-11 and pick one up on Thanksgiving Day.
-Look at every page of the ads. I often buy things for my gift drawer the day after Thanksgiving. I also buy household items that day.
-Make sure to consider small ticket items. You can get some fabulous deals.
-Don’t plan on getting any major item at Circuit City unless you plan to sleep there all night. They hardly stock anything that they advertise and they are very unhelpful.
-Target and Wal Mart rock! They stock a ton of each item and make everything easy to find.
-Don’t forget drugstores. You can get great deals on Christmas decorations, cards and wrapping paper there.
-Map out your plan carefully in order of when the stores open, write everything down and take your marked up flyers with you.
-Find out which stores price-match and go to a store that didn’t advertise the item but is willing to price-match and you’ll have a better chance of getting the item.
-Watch your time. Make sure to keep track of how long the sales are good at each store.
-Take snacks.
-Be nice.
-Take a friend if you can. Try not to lose her.

Do you have any tips?

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24 Responses to Tip Tuesday — Black Thursday

  1. Lauren says:

    Target is also pretty good about rainchecks, which is awesome. AND they have great deals on DVD boxed sets, which are one of those great “too expensive to buy for yourself or really anyone but awesome to get and this way they’re cheap” gifts.

  2. amy a. says:

    My tips:
    Stop when you get tired.
    When it becomes no fun, you should go home.
    Get a babysitter!
    Prefer others above yourself.
    Don’t forget to eat.
    Smile and say thank you. A lot.

  3. andrea says:

    I have a tip: rent a movie, buy some junk food, pull out the Monopoly board and STAY HOME. We have the same zoo here in Canada on Boxing Day and I got smart one year and haven’t been back. 🙂

  4. Tanya says:

    If you don’t/can’t buy a paper some companies advertise here: http://www.blackfriday.info/ads/ and here: http://www.blackfriday.gottadeal.com/

    I’ll most likely be one of the crazy ones out, it’s a good way to burn off some turkey 😀

  5. owlhaven says:

    oops, forgot to add…

    You snack idea is good!

  6. EmLouisa says:

    If you go out on Turkey Day to get a newspaper, go early. They go quickly. And whatever you do, DON’T be a jerk and steal your neighbor’s newspaper just because they haven’t picked it up by 8 am. It is quite rude.

  7. Julie Q. says:

    Love the “take a friend/don’t lose her” advice. I usually try to stay away on Friday, but I like your advice about stocking up on household items. We live a block from Walgreens. Maybe I can handle going on just one little walk…

  8. I’m with Andrea.
    Last year was my first time doing the whole “day after Thanksgiving sales”, I did have a paper, I planned out my route, I had a list, I had a well developed plan (just like my “garage sale-ing plans) I had a snack. No, it’s a zoo.

    I’m happy I didn’t end up on the 10 PM news.

    Grrr. I almost feel like doing it again.
    No, I will not.

  9. Karen says:

    I second the newspaper thing 100%. Get one.

    I shop with my sisters-in-law every year and we tag team in places like Target and Toys R’Us where it can get really crowded and crazy. We share a cart to cut down on “drag” and we know what each other is looking for. I have a list either mentally or written out of what I would like to find for each person on my list. I also have their sizes so I don’t have to guess. It helps to already have things in mind rather than wandering aimlessly in the crowds.

    I never get there when the door opens and I am still able to get the things I came for. However, I don’t wait until 10:00am to start out either. Early birds get the worms, but they don’t have to be there at 6:00am to do it.

    If you’re not a die-hard and you don’t have anything that is a MUST HAVE OR ELSE item go in the afternoon or evening when the hullabaloo has died down.

  10. californiazenmom says:

    I’m with the Monopoly/junk food/stay-at-home crowd. I did go to a mall in the LATE afternoon one Black Friday and it wasn’t so bad. Here’s my tip: some stores have online Black Friday sales that start at 12midnight EST (9pm PST for us), so after I’m all turkey-and-pied-up, I just roll myself over to the computer about 9pm and shop online!

  11. Tess says:

    BTW the blackfridayads.com site is RUMOR ONLY – I know because our ads haven’t even been released yet, and customers are already buying out the products hoping for a pricematch on Friday. I can’t say my company’s name – but let me just say it starts and ends with a big RED S and it ain’t gonna be easy on Friday.

    (love and hugs to you all crazy shoppers – I’m working the phones 4am-12:30pm that day)

  12. bek says:

    I have yet to find something that was really so cheap it involved going out and shopping on that day. Maybe I am not shopping for the right stuff (like 10 dollar dvd players). I just finished my shopping yesterday and now I can avoid the stores.

    I also do all my shopping online (most, anyway). It makes my life so much easier and cuts down on getting too many extras. I only go out on Black Friday for social reasons or just to get away from the kids…… 🙂

  13. Jana says:

    My only tip (besides leave the kids at home) is to have a positive attitude. No parking spaces close to the store? Great! Now you can walk off some of the Turkey Day weight. Long lines? No problem! Talk with the people around you, which will not only make you the “friendly person,” but it also helps the time pass more quickly.

  14. Shalee says:

    Go early. I mean EARLY!

    Take lots of coffee. I mean LOTS OF COFFEE! (I still want to set up a coffee table at one of those stores someday. I would make enough to pay for Christmas!)

    Go with a friend, especially someone who wants to buy the same things. You can each double up and get it for each other.

    Have a great attitude and talk with those around you when you’re waiting in line at WallyWorld. Your time will seem so much more enjoyable, uplifting and fun.

  15. Mir says:

    First of all: http://bfads.net

    Second of all: STAY HOME. Most of the deals in-store that will actually be plentiful enough for you to snag can be had comparably online, only without the unwashed masses mobbing around you. So.

  16. Pam in Utah says:

    Great tips! I especially love the “be nice” tip. People sometimes forget that one. We are all too stressed. Really–what is more important, anyway? If it’s not “fun”, why go? 🙂 ‘Cept of course if you really really need those socks! 🙂

  17. Susan says:

    Wear comfy shoes, and dress in layers. Nothing puts a damper on the Black Friday rush like sore feet and hot flashes.

  18. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the tips!

  19. Holly says:

    I know that the things Wal-Mart advertises for the till noon sale are things they don’t normally carry and will still be the advertised price after noon.

  20. surcie says:

    I stay home and shop online, using promotion codes to get decent discounts. I try to take advantage of sites that offer free delivery. And I don’t have to deal with miserable retailers or impatient shoppers. Yay!

  21. HolyMama! says:

    and remember to mind your manners on the road, as well.

  22. Anne/kq says:

    We celebrate Buy Nothing Day the day after Thanksgiving. It’s taken on a real meaning for us. We really don’t buy ANYTHING. If we run out of baby wipes, we use washcloths. Run out of diapers, we use cloth diapers. Run out of cat food, we feed them tuna or borrow some from my mom or dad. (But we try to make sure we have everything we need earlier in the week.)

    We love it.

  23. Cell phones, Cell phones, Cell phones.

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