There are two kinds of people who venture out for Black Friday. The first is the ultimate bargain hunter. Then there are those who are going out for the fun of it. Both have different styles and goals in mind. Which ever you are here are some great tips, even if you are in an in between category.

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Is it worth it? My retailers have given up the holiday of Thanksgiving itself. The practice started as retailers began to compete. Every year the store opening and crazy deals have gotten earlier in an effort to beat out their competition. Several years ago some started at 6am. Now they’ve backed into Thanksgiving Day itself. I worked these crazy schedules for years. I can vividly remember my first Black Friday morning. When pulling into my mall and seeing the lines stretched around the buildings in the freezing weather.

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Opening the doors has to be done with great care to avoid being trampled. As I was behind a vast counter, I’ve never been so thankful for the two feet separating them from me. One year they even had a stampeding hoard going up the escalators behind me. I’ve seen the news reports of violence and thought wow I’m glad i don’t live there. Then people did it in my store over $15 toasters.

I decided upon witnessing this i would never need a toaster it waffle iron that much. The danger is just not worth saving $5.00. While I did work this for many years, I’m thankful I’m not giving up my family time anymore.

As you venture out this shopping weekend please remember to be patient, kind, and respectful to the retail personnel who work so hard for you. Many have to now completely give up their family Thanksgiving to be here and ready for your shopping pleasure. Here are my insider tips after so many years behind the counter.

Do you really need it on Thanksgiving Day? While fun, you give up that precious time with your family. Those moments once gone can never be reclaimed. Like several of my close family, and indeed myself coming to close to having no more of those moments I appreciate them more profoundly. I remember my dad’s smiles and hugs, his military service humor. The warmth is given to each other as we spend a relaxed afternoon sharing stories, memories, food, and catching up on experiences. So decide if you really want to give that up.

  • If you are venturing out have a game plan.  You should rank items in terms of importance. 
  • Divide and conquer- Go as a group.  It adds to both the fun and makes it easier to find and get what you want.
  • Coupons and deals – Make sure you know the store policies on both the deals and coupons.  If you find them in the sales ad or online read the fine print.  Some cannot be used until after a certain time or even date.  Lots of retailers give out coupons at the door Thursday/Friday for Saturday and Sunday.  Knowing this in advance makes it easier to both budget and keep transactions smooth in the stores.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days.  If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day.  Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience.  On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers.  It is also a gamble on their part.  They have to bet on what items you will buy.  This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store.  Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day.  Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions.  As they also do not have the final say in some policies.  Knowing this will help you make choices on these items.  It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.

For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days.  If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day.  Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience.  On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers.  It is also a gamble on their part.  They have to bet on what items you will buy.  This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store.  Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day.  Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions.  As they also do not have the final say in some policies.  Knowing this will help you make choices on these items.  It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.



Where ever your adventure takes you make sure to bring your smile, your patience, and anything you need such as credit card, photo ID, cell phone charger, phone, and any apps you may need to keep it fun.

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