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How To Navigate Black Friday

Posted by Julian Torres, "JT" on Nov 20, 2022 9:51:47 PM

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Once upon a time there was Black Friday, where people still loaded up on Thanksgiving turkey and pie lined up outside malls and stores in the Friday pre-dawn hours, shotgunned a mug of black coffee for energy and consciousness, and prepared to fight other customers for a new television.

Online shopping and changing store hours largely did away with this scene for years, but the rules of Black Friday keep changing, so it’s important to have a game plan before heading out to start your holiday shopping.

1. Plan Ahead

For years, major retailers had gotten into the practice of being open on Thanksgiving Day, resulting in scenes of in-store chaos typically reserved for 3 a.m. on Black Friday. And while this year CVS and Walgreens will be open on Thanksgiving Day, most other major retailers will wait until Friday morning to open their doors.

In other words, Black Friday will officially be held on a Friday. So don’t bother hitting up JCPenney, Target, Walmart, Macy’s, or T.J. Maxx on Thanksgiving Day.

2. Stick To A Budget

Probably the most clichéd, overstated piece of advice ever offered regarding shopping, but creating and maintaining a budget will be crucial to a good Black Friday shopping experience.

Why? Because everything will be on sale, including stuff you don’t want, need, or have even thought about owning. Walk into a big box store to buy a new television, and you’ll see that wine fridges will be on sale. Do you need a wine fridge? Do you even drink wine? It won’t matter; it’ll be on sale, and the temptation to get one because it’s on sale will be very strong.

That temptation can lead to some exciting purchases. It can also do a number on your wallet.

Smart shopping requires some basic planning. So make a budget and start researching the items you want to buy before you start shopping. If you can get the items and stay in your budget, you can always start looking around at what else has a great discount.

3. Don’t Wait for November 25

Just because Black Friday 2022 won’t physically occur until Friday, November 25, doesn’t mean you can’t start participating in Black Friday.

Some stores have already started Black Friday deals and savings, both online and at their physical stores. Again, basic planning and research can lead to a fantastic Black Friday experience. If you can get the item you want at the price you want (or better) now, do it and don’t worry about having to fight the crowds on November 25.

4. Think Twice Before Buying Cheap

This rule mostly applies to electronic devices, but it should be considered for any purchase. Just because the item has a good price does not mean it’s a good product.

However, don’t immediately dismiss cheaper brands, either. Find out what’s going to be on sale and do some research about the product; you might be surprised by what you find.

5. Don’t Fight

Finally, don’t get into a brawl over any sales items. It’s just stuff. No smartwatch will ever be worth becoming a news highlight.

If possible, try to have as much fun with your Black Friday experience. It’s the official start of the holiday season, so enjoy the sights and sounds of your shopping experience while being smart about what you buy.

 

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