Get Ready for Black Friday (er, Thursday)!

So we all know by now that most stores are opening a day early for the shopping extravaganza known as Black Friday! With so many stores opening earlier and all the hype surrounding Black Friday, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. So if you plan on venturing out, you need a plan! Start with these tips:

  1. Don’t wait for Thanksgiving: Good sales are out there now — in stores and online. To find them, check out retail websites, newspapers and coupon sites.
  2. Be prepared: This is probably one of my favorite tips, because and informed shopper is a savvy shopper! Take your coupons, especially those store specific ones that will save you even more (check your 2014 Entertainment Book if you just bought one for example). Also, do your research and compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Just because it’s Black Friday doesn’t mean that it’s a great deal! Visit Black Friday websites and consider downloading a Black Friday mobile app to zero in on the holiday bargains you’re hunting down. Some good ones are TGIBlackFriday.com and RetailMeNot.com because these apps aggregate all the Black Friday deals for you by category, retailer and by “newest.”
  3. Prioritize: Most stores will have one or two really great doorbusters or FREEbies to draw shoppers in. They won’t last long, so you’ll have to pick the one you want most and go for it.
  4. Have a plan: Know where you’re going and when. Know what time stores are opening and even go online and get a map of the store so you’ll know where to head once you get through the door. Also check out the store’s return policy to make sure you can make a return with no hassles, if you change your mind about an item later.
  5. Take the ads with you: Some stores — including Target, Walmart and Best Buy — promise to price-match items, so you’ll need proof of the lower price and model numbers that match up. However, be warned that not all stores that price match will do so on all of their items – and not all will do so on Black Friday ads.
  6. Don’t go alone: In numbers, you can attack different areas of a store, or even different stores. You and your shopping buddy can take turns waiting in excruciatingly long lines, while the other one tears through the store looking for other deals.
  7. Dress comfortably: and if you live in colder areas like me, dress in layers! But don’t wear too many clothes, or crowded stores will start to feel like a sauna. Consider purchasing those hand warmers to keep your hands, feet and wherever else toasty! Don’t carry a heavy purse either, it’ll just weigh you down.
  8. Watch your liquid intake: It’s not easy to take a potty break if you’re standing in line with hundreds of others outside a department store.
  9. Stay safe: There’s no need to hurt anyone or get hurt so stay away from anyone else who is doing any running or pushing.
  10. Expect to wait in very long lines: So if you have a smartphone app, you can check for online deals; if you have your ads, you can review them; if you’re with a buddy, you’ll have someone to chat with… you get the idea!
  11. Look out for extras: Specifically, shopping experts say consumers should stay away from warranties offered by stores because customers rarely use them. Check your credit cards to see if any offer extended warranties on items purchased with the cards. This is a good rule for shopping any time of year.
  12. Have fun!

Many stores are starting to have online Black Friday deals for those of you that’d rather shop in your pajamas in the comfort of your home! Online shoppers should prepare by registering on retail sites now. It’ll save time when you’re trying to snag a hot deal before it sells out. Don’t forget that a lot of online shopping is done on Cyber Monday!

Visit the Black Friday (Thursday) tab of House of Rana for updates on store FREEbies this year!

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