How to Survive Black Friday: Top Seven Tips
It’s the most wonderful time of year! No, I am not referring to the decline in temperature, the accumulation of snow or the loss of daylight. It is the time of year that bargain hunters yearn for most – you guessed it – Black Friday! When the magic of Christmas arrives a month early, bringing smiles and hope to budget shoppers everywhere. Beginning Friday, Nov. 28 at 12 a.m., stores in the U.S. will be flooded with generations of bargainers looking for the latest tech toy or house appliance and leaving aisles in shambles. But to get the most out of this money-saving marathon, shoppers must be prepared mentally, physically and financially – these days of deals are not for the faint of heart. To check out this year’s big-ticket items, click here.
A recent study showed 47 per cent of Canadians will be looking for Black Friday deals this year. To get out of Black Friday trample-free (we mean that literally), we share our tips on how to properly prepare for midnight madness.
1. Shopping Crew: You may think that you can weather the outlet storm with any of your closest pals. Wrong. Be strategic while choosing your shopping group. Keep space in mind, no more than three people per car or four per van. You’ll need all the extra space you can get for the items you’ve purchased.
2. Planning: Deal-finder Danielle Hogan recommends making a schedule ahead of time to get the most bang for your buck. “A lot of the big box stores have different items on sale at different times, so you need to build a schedule, so that you are at the stores at the right time. Map it out!” Yes, you read that correctly – different items at different times. Don’t be overwhelmed. Just go to each store’s website to find your key items and build from there. And when it comes to coupons, collect! Black Friday shopper Kathleen Fitzpatrick advises, “Collect coupons for the stores that you will spend a lot of time at. You can usually pair a coupon (e.g., 40 per cent off) with sale items and really clean up.”
3. Timing: Canadians need to be in the U.S. for more than 48 hours to get the $800 tax exemption. So plan accordingly. Fitzpatrick recommends driving up early on Thursday. “Shop from Thursday evening to Friday morning (don’t worry – the adrenalin will get you through), check into your hotel on Friday (request early check-in) and sleep the day and night away. Wake up on Saturday morning and drive home.” This way you will get back over the border tax-free.
4. Attire: Do not try to look cute. This is a shopping marathon, not a runway show. Bring your comfiest shoes, and Hogan even suggests a change of clothes to freshen up part way through.