The Friday that falls the day after Thanksgiving isn’t an ordinary spin around the mall. Black Friday demands a different approach all together, a strategy that will ensure you’ll find the best deals and get the products you want.
This year, stores have cut back their inventory out of concerns about whether they can actually sell everything they have in stock. Instead, they’ve stocked their Web sites. So, if you want to get your hands on a coveted items, you’ll have to be smarter (and luckier) than ever.
Here are my suggestions, in addition to following @atlbargains on Twitter and using hash tag #atlshop:
– Make a shopping list and an accompanying budget. By now, you should know what items you want and precisely how much they cost. If you haven’t checked out bfads.net, black-friday.net or blackfriday.com, get busy. They’ll have the majority of the Black Friday ads to help you with your bottom line.
– Make sure you have an Atlanta Journal-Constitution in hand Thursday morning. The stores you’ll be most interested in will have their circulars in the paper with their sale items. Carry the circulars with you to the store, as some retailers have price-matching, but require that you have the printed circular with you. Remember that most will not match online prices, or specials like doorbusters or early-bird specials.
– Bring a friend or shopping buddy with you. With items in limited supply and lines long for certain products, you’ll want to either break up to get what you want, or stand in competing lines with the person getting to the front of the line first able to make the purchase.
– Don’t forget to eat. There is nothing worse than shopping on an empty stomach, or with feet that hurt. Make sure you’re comfortable and well-rested.
– Designate a place for your receipts. Get a receipt for everything you purchase and hold onto it.
– Carpool. Parking is tough even on an ordinary day. It will be even worse on Black Friday, so you may as well buddy up with someone.
– Make sure you keep an eye on your belongings, lock your car doors and keep bags in your trunk rather than inside your car.
– Don’t want to overspend? Leave your credit cards at home, shop with cash and stick to your budget. It will help if you postpone shopping for yourself and only buy the items on your list.
So, what is your Black Friday shopping strategy? Do you do anything special to make it fun? How do you get your hands on items in limited supply? Will you shop online and in stores, or just one or the other?
Follow me on Twitter @atlbargains.