Surviving Black Friday

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It is the busiest, craziest, and most profitable shopping day of the year. The day after Thanksgiving – affectionately known as “Black Friday” – is a day consumers scavenge for deals, and retailers line their pockets with profits so steep they would make Bill Gates weak in the knees. This day is so profitable, in fact, that some businesses, both large and small, take in more gross revenue on this single day than the rest of the fiscal year combinedThe major draw to Black Friday is the outlandish discounts offered on many of the most popular items of the shopping year. Items that are sure to be hits over the Christmas Holiday are offered at steep discounts, and older products that are still “hot” can be had at deals too good to be called anything other than a “steal.”The one real drawback for the consumer and retailers like on this day, however, is quantity. There are finite numbers of each product (and therefore, each deal) to go around, so getting the item you came looking for can often be similar to the Pamplona running of the bulls.To have any chance at all of getting big-ticket items, such as televisions, shoppers often need to arrive to the store as early as 3 AM to wait in line. The experience can be long, tedious, and physically taxing, so here are some key pointers to surviving Black Friday.Carry Along Plenty of ClothingThe weather around Thanksgiving is typically cool, if not downright cold all across the country. Be sure to bring plenty of clothing, in several layers to avoid freezing. Layering is also recommended as it allows you to remove articles of clothing when the sun comes up.Make Yourself ComfortableYou should take along a camping chair or at least a bleacher pad or blanket to sit on. The concrete surrounding most stores is not only uncomfortable, it is also filthy. Especially in colder regions, I would also recommend bringing some coffee or another hot drink in an insulated cup or thermos. Also, consider a breakfast bar or something pre-packaged to eat that you can carry around. Most people are not accustomed to being up at 3 AM, and your body will need sustenance if you are going to stay awake.Use Debit Cards if PossibleTry to avoid carrying around a lot of cash. There have been many reports over the years of robberies taking place in Black Friday lines, and carrying little to no cash will make you less of a target and minimize potential loss.Most of all…Enjoy the experience! Deal-hunting and camping outside of a store can be a lot of fun, so try to keep a positive attitude and have a good time.

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