November 1, 2011
Fondly known as Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday is famous for being a day to rack up holiday bargains. Die-hard shoppers rise early to get the best deals on gifts of all sorts, from electronics to accessories and books to beauty.
- Research: Stores all across the Portland and Vancouver area will be boasting about their “can’t miss” Black Friday specials, so it is important to know exactly what you’re looking for. Check out websites like blackfriday2011.com, bfads.net, and blackfriday.info weeks before you carve the turkey or have a second slice of pie. Knowing where the specials are and what items you’re looking for will help your hours of shopping go smoothly.
- Plan: Once you’ve identified the special items you’re going for, you need to make a plan of attack for your day. Make a written schedule of the stores you’re hitting, where the items are, and when the stores open. Arrange the list in order from early to late opening. Many savvy shoppers also draw maps of the stores they plan to hit, highlighting the areas where their target items are located. This increases their chances of snagging their items while the newbies and ill-prepared are wandering around with shiny object syndrome.
- Prepare: Louis Finklestein said, “It is a grave matter to enter a war without adequate military preparation,” and it is the same when you wage war against high prices on Black Friday. Be prepared for every eventuality by having your battle plan and provisions at the ready. Be sure to visit the bathroom before you leave home and have plenty of snacks and gas in your car. Many shoppers have missed out on their bargains because they were wandering around the food court in a ravenous haze rather than keeping their sites trained on their shopping items.
- Divide and Conquer: Black Friday shopping requires that you have reinforcements, so team up with your friends and family to create the ultimate shopping machine. With teams, you can divide up each store into sections and shop separately and fast. This also increases your chances of receiving any item vouchers that are distributed before the doors open. If you’d like, your team can even divide up your entire list, sending groups to separate stores. Just make sure you have an assigned meeting place and time for the post-shopping celebration.
- Technology to the Rescue: In planning your shopping strategy, use the web to locate the best deals. Track with your friends on Facebook and Twitter before the big day and also during your shopping excursion to stay abreast of the best tips and prices. And use your smart phone to track down missing team members should your day go sideways.
Now you’ve got some of the best tips to make your Black Friday shopping a successful venture and not just an audacious adventure. Don’t like to get up that early for your shopping? Stay up late and hit Phagans’ Clackamas store at midnight on Thanksgiving Day. The first 100 shoppers take home a Black Friday gift bag with their purchase.