Top 10 Tips to Help You Survive Black Friday

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1. Arrive to the stores earlyLines at the stores usually start forming as early as 3 PM Thanksgiving Day. If you are after the limited quantity items, you need to be in this line. Some stores hand out vouchers an hour before the doors open. If you don’t get that voucher, you probably won’t get the merchandise.2. Park close to an exitFind a parking spot at a local store that is not open for Black Friday. This way, you won’t be stuck in the big rush of people coming in and out of the main store.3. Dress warm and comfortable. This is not a fashion show.The people in line don’t care what you look like. Ladies, leave the heels at home. Guys, don’t fix your hair, your going to be wearing a hat anyway. Even if by some miracle, it’s 50-60 degrees outside, it gets really cold when you’re in line for 8, 10, or even 12 hours. A thick coat, thermal underwear, and a nice pair of gloves will help keep you warm. Two layers of socks and comfortable tennis shoes are a must.4. Divide and ConquerWhat better way to plan your attack than at Thanksgiving dinner? Spread out the ads between family and friends, decide who is going to what store and make a list of what everyone wants. Each person buys everyone’s items and then you all meet up afterwards.5. Shop OnlineMany of the sale items will be available at the same Black Friday price online Thanksgiving Day. Purchase as many items as you can online starting Thanksgiving morning at midnight, and get the remainder Friday morning.6. Make a “Dry Run” the night before ThanksgivingAbout an hour before the store closes on Wednesday, go to the store and spot where everything is that you want to buy. Some stores, especially Best Buy, set up a checkout maze consisting of 4 foot high DVD players, TV’s, and other miscellaneous merchandise. One wrong turn could easily cost you an extra 45 minutes in the checkout line.7. Leave the kids at homeUnless you’ve taught your kids to get the deal no matter what (which is probably bad parenting anyway), leave the kids with a babysitter or family member. There are a lot of people at the stores that will be more willing to trample your child than help them off the ground. Standing in line for 10 hours is not fun for an adult, what do you think it’s like for a child?8. Protect your moneyAlthough big sales attract loads of shoppers, they also attract loads of thieves. Ladies, leave your purse at home. Bring your ID, credit cards and/or cash and keep it close to you. Guys, with 2-3 layers of clothing, it’s harder to feel a thief lift your wallet while you’re not paying attention. Keep your wallet in your front pocket.9. Make friends with others standing in lineHaving a good conversation with someone standing in line can pass the time fairly quickly. Not to mention, if you have to run to the bathroom because you just drank an entire pot of coffee. Your new found friend will probably be willing to hold your place in line, especially if you’re willing to return the favor.10. DON’T bring alcohol to a shopping frenzySure, adding a little something extra to your coffee may seem like a good idea, but there are police officers standing at every corner. They walk up and down the line to see what people are doing. They won’t have any problem hauling your butt off to jail because you decided to handle line jumpers your own way.If fighting the crowds is not your style, you can always buy many of the items on your wish list online. Many shoppers don’t realize that beginning Thanksgiving Day around midnight, retail stores automatically adjust the prices to reflect Fridays’ sale. Simply purchase what is available online, and then decide if you want to pick them up later in the day, or pay a little extra to have it delivered to your front door.