How To Survive Black Friday

Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 10:00am

Planning to brave the Black Friday shopping rush?

As many get ready for the biggest shopping day of the year, here are the Top 10 ways to survive Black Friday:

#10: Is it worth busting down the door for that doorbuster?

Yes, but don't show up unless you're willing to wait in line.

"It is worth it? Oh, yeah," said Kara Anderson, a personal shopper. "Depends on your budget, Yes!"

"Black Friday can be one of two things: You can go home happy or you can go home sad."

#9: Don't go solo.

If you go with someone else, you can split up and work as a team. "Split the list. You go to this store and he goes to that store, and we'll come home happy," said Anderson.

#8: Learn the store layouts before Friday.

If you know where things are, you can get to them faster.

"I don't miss anything...I don't want to waste time, especially if I've got to have that must have item," said Anderson.

#7: Request a price guarantee.

Ask if there's a low-price guarantee, giving you a refund of the difference between a new lower price and what you paid, or if you find it cheaper elsewhere, many retailers will price match. You have to ask.

#6: Get a clear understanding of the return policies.

Do you need a receipt,? Is there a restocking fee? It is good to know before you buy.

"I've got a fanny pack...I stick my receipts right there and when I get home I don't have to worry about bags and receipts. I put them in a folder and if I need to return something I've got them handy," said Anderson

#5: Are there bonus discounts or rebates?

Look for promotional codes whether you are in the store or shop online.

#4: Is it cheaper online?

There are a number of Black Friday deals online and the shipping is free. So the big benefit here is convenience. Visit the store's website

"They're trying to push as much of these sales online to avoid the crowd," said Mike Riddle, president of the online site Black-Friday.Net.

"You don't have to go to the store to get all of the items on sale, the retailers are putting the doorbusters on line," he said.

#3: Sign up for alerts on price changes and what's available in the inventory.

This helps if it is a very popular item you're after.

#2: Shop online after midnight Friday morning.

Don't go to bed early if you want to get a jump on the deals

"You can get all of your shopping done in a couple of hours from your living room," said Riddle.

#1: Plan ahead.

Did I say plan ahead? And avoid impulse buying. You will find items sprinkled throughout the store to get you to make an impulse buy. But do you really need it?

"If you get sidetracked, you're wasting time, you can figure that the bottom of your list will never be seen if you start going down the aisles leisurely shopping," said Anderson.

Black Friday has become a cultural phenomenon, but you don't have to go broke trying to be part of it.

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