The term Black Friday does one of two things to people. Either they start getting excited about the upcoming bargains and the challenge of getting that hot item for practically nothing, or they shudder with the thought of all of those people crowding the store before the sun even comes up and staying until the sun goes down. But no matter which camp you fit into this year, I have some advice on how to survive Black Friday.
If you can't wait to shop:
Create a solid game plan for hitting the bargains. You will need to have your strategy mapped out in advance. Check the ads and make a list of which stores you will hit first and what you will purchase. Have contingency plans for when you can't make all of the stores due to time and when a store runs out of something you want. Don't forget to include time restrictions, since many of the stores offer door busters. These are extra discounts when you shop early in the day.
Don't get caught up in the hype. You don't want to grab something that you don't need simply because it appears to be a good bargain or everyone else is grabbing for it. Do your research ahead of time to make sure you know what the real regular prices are and the quality of the merchandise. A $299 HDTV may not be worth it at all.
If you would rather stay in bed:
Take the opportunity to still get bargains without all of the craziness and the rush when you do your shopping online. Most retailers will offer Black Friday deals through their Internet stores. They may even "mock" the Black Friday tradition by offering door busters that are available only at certain times. Don't forget to use coupon codes to get even better deals.
Declare that you are taking a vacation from shopping that day and do nothing. Adbusters magazine has declared this day to be the holiday of "Buy Nothing Day." Take advantage of an almost real holiday as your excuse. Make up "Buy Nothing" carols.
Marnie Moore is a veteran deal hunter and editor of the FreeCoupons.com blog.
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