Post # 1
So every year I say I’m going to go. I have made it out a couple times but only for specific items. Neve rhad to fight and I never went at weird hours. Always just made a leisurely trip by myself.
This year, my sister and I are making a thing of it and are going to start after thanksgiving after dinner. What I am looking for is tips on how to approach this. Is it really as crazy as they make it seem? is it worth it? Im going to do it even if you say it’s not worth it lol I want the experience. I have been so against it and my sister talked me into it, this year I have the money to do it too which will be nice. So if you could give this black friday shopping newbie any advice what would it be? (besides “don’t go!” lol)
Post # 3
@stardustintheeyes: My only tip for Black Friday shopping is Please do not shop before midnight. Let those workers that are there for sometimes +10 hour shifts enjoy some of their Thanksgiving with their families.
Post # 4
I agree with PP that you shouldn’t go until midnight. My SO works in retail, and luckily this year they aren’t opening until midnight, but it was terrible last year when he had to rush through dinner just to get to work and open the store. Most retail shops only close on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so by opening during the evening on Thanksgiving we are taking a half a day away from the two days a year that these poor people actually have off for holidays.
LOL Anywho…I honestly, at least where I’m from, don’t really think that it is worth it. I’ve never been shopping on Black Friday myself, but my sister goes with a friend every year. We live near some outlets that are a popular tourist attraction for out of staters, and there are so many people that come from out of state to go shopping at these outlets that don’t even mark anything down.
Where my SO works he said they may have a few deals on certain items, but definitely nothing that is worth literally risking your life for. He sells video games/equipment, so there are a lot of new consoles coming out in the next few weeks. No way they will be on sale three days after they premier just because it’s Black Friday!
I think the only real reason to go is if you think it will be a fun time with your sister. I wouldn’t get too into it because you don’t want to become one of those people that ends up trampling someone (or getting trampled) just for a TV. I imagine a lot of that stuff will get sold out right away anyway!
Post # 5
It can be worth it depending on the item you want. Electronics, toys, video games and big items like that can make the effort worthwhile. Plus I think it’s just fun to get up early and shop the deals! Know the weather for that night (layers are your friend), and carry a light purse. Coffee and/or hot chocolate are good for the lines. Get the newspaper the day before and check all the circulars, and form a game plan.
I do agree with folks that you should be mindful of retail workers and not support the thanksgiving day shopping. I have a strict, no shopping on thanksgiving day, rule. Midnight is fair game.
Post # 6
I used to enjoy going with my mom when I was younger. Now that they’ve started on Thursday evening, I don’t enjoy it anymore. Look at the sales papers they send out or check online before deciding to go. And don’t expect to have fun. The last time I went was a couple years ago – and it consisted of being herded into a jam-packed line that moved at a snail’s pace. And some rude lady kept hitting me in the butt with her shopping cart. The only thing that’s really worth it is electronics and sometimes popular toys for the season.
ETA: Also, if you decide not to go on Thanksgiving evening and you are wanting one of the featured items (electronics, etc.), it will most likely not be there the next morning. At least where I’m from, that stuff goes super fast. You have to get in line to get a ticket for a bunch of that stuff before they will even let you purchase it…
Post # 7
@stardustintheeyes: I’ve gone a couple times with “veteran shoppers” but that was a few years ago before stores started doing this “Black Friday somehow means Thursday” nonsense. I’m with everyone else- don’t go until midnight. It freaking sucks that retailers are doing this, not only to their employees, but to US! Leave one freaking day for us to enjoy what we already have before shoving a bunch more stuff down our throats!!
That said, what my aunts do is spend the post-meal Thanksgiving time sorting through all the holiday circulars. They decide what they want & where they need to go first. Here are some of my tips:
- Have a spreadsheet with all the people you are buying for, your budget for each gift & an idea of what you might buy them in that budget.
- While waiting for check out, fill in what you actually bought & how much you paid (including tax!). If you are using a store credit or some other discount, divide it up between all gifts purchased from that store. This will help you stay on track & not over spend on any one person.
- Find the best give-away you can at a store you are likely to find gifts in and go there first (like $50 gift cards to the first 100 shoppers). If you get there and there are clearly already 100+ people in line, ditch it for a back-up plan.
- Don’t even bother with those “we only have 2 big fancy tvs for $3” things. That’s how people die. You’re not going to get one of the two. Forget it.
- then hit places having mega sales on specific items you want.
- end on a big, fairly inexpensive store with lots of departments (like Kohl’s or Target) that is having a good general sale so you can get random gifts for a lot of people
- Also, wear good walking shoes, lots of layers (especially if you’re lining up early- it got super cold even in Southern California!) and bring water.
- Plan for a decent lunch (you will HOPEFULLY be done by 12-1pm if you started at 4am like we did).
I hate crowds, so now I basically just do online sales, but the concept is the same. I’ve already started buying Amazon’s deal of the days. I actually ventured into a mall this weekend and got a good deal at Hallmark. If you spent $50 they gave you this gift bag with a really nice cake stand, a pretty glass poured candle, a nice ornament and a calendar. All those things are being incorportated into gifts, which gives me some extra wiggle room in my budget! So look for any freebies, too!
Post # 8
I doubt my sister and I will be going before midnight. But I have to say, I don’t think that’s a trend that’s going to end any time soon. Whether i choose to skip it or not. There are enough people that will go that will keep the new tradition alive. I think though that we are going to see a movie that night and then hit the stores. My family sometimes does a movie on thanksgiving evening. That’s just speculation though. Who knows how the night will actually go.
I already made a spreadsheet with my gift ideas. Now I need to figure out where to go for everything. I have a fairly large family and this year’s budget for all my gifts is $2000. This includes all the kids, all the extras like gift cards, bath sets for those aunts that I have no other gift ideas for, batteries for toys and electronics that require them, cards, wrapping supplies, etc. I mean I laid out a budget for everything. Now I just have to do my best to stick to it. That’s the hard part.
Some things I won’t be doing, standing in line for tickets for the big items, fighting with anyone over any item big or small if someone wants to fight they can have the damn thing, going to multiple malls, being rude to workers, and a list of other things I am vowing not to do.
Post # 9
@stardustintheeyes: I went once, my sister and I decided to make a whole “thing” too. She liked it a lot more than I did haha maybe I was just tired. We went out maybe around 1 a.m. on Friday morning. With my experience though I wasn’t looking for anything in particular so it just turned out that anything I wanted wasn’t on sale.
Except one thing, electronically related, for my mom. Which we didn’t get until like 10 a.m. lol
I was hoping to see some fights! LOL! But it wasn’t that crazy. Crowded yes, chaotic no.
Post # 10
You can look up all the ads in advance here:
That way you can plan your shopping ahead of time and decide if you need to be at a store earlier for a hot tech deal or if you can afford to wait until midnight or the day.
Black Friday was crazy even back in the day before midnight openings, my husband used to work at Circuit City and had to get up at 3 am. Now my SIL works at Best Buy so I’m not even sure if she is coming on Thursday to eat with us or not.
Post # 11
I agree with PP do not go before Midnight. This is total BS that retailers open during the day on Thanksgiving.
Post # 12
@stardustintheeyes: Look up all the ads, see what you want. Circle the items. Then look when they open. So say you want a blender from X and a Blanket from Z. Well if Z opens at 3am and X opens at 12 go to X first and so on. Try to go to a mall or shopping center instead of driving to individual stores. Electronics go very quickly so get those first. Get in line early. If the store opens at 3am, get there 1-2 hours before. You might be one of the first 30 people in line by then. A lot of electronic stores, best buy, office depot, staples etc will pass out cards to people in line asking what they came for. (First come, first serve) So if they have 10 TVs in stock, the first 10 people in line that want them get them. Shoes are a big deal. Good luck in that department. Those are the only tips I have……
I have worked and shopped black friday and its intense. Usually the only time i see women go at it is over shoes. Also, if you dont get everything shop cyber Monday.
Post # 13
Keep in mind that big doorbusters (if thats what youre going for) have extremely limited quantities usually less than 10 per store.
It is pretty chaotic.
Post # 14
Be vigilant but not too pushy. People are not nice when trying to score $1 towels from Wal-mart.
Post # 15
If there is something I really really wantneed I will go before midnight. Me not going is not going to stop it from happening. All that would do is make me miss out on something I could have used. With that said, I don’t see myself needing anything that bad that I would need to actually leave after dinner on thanksgiving. I will start planning the outing though as soon as dinner is over. I think it’s just part of working in the retail field. My (almost) brother in law worked for best buy for years and always had to work crappy hours on black friday, not to mention thanksgiving evening he would be in trying to get the store together. I appreciate all the “don’t go before midnight” comments because I can see where that’s coming from. But I think that’s just the nature of the beast. Servers deal with it, cops deal with it, fire fighters deal with it, and many other jobs. There are downsides to every type of job.
Post # 16
@jesssamesssa: Im not even aiming for any of the big electronics deals. And I won’t be super upset if I don’t get a deal i’m after. I just want to go and see what deals I can get ya know? But I won’t be crying in my cheerios over a tv lol. I refuse to stand in the cold for a damn tv!!!