$urviving Black Friday for Dummie$

November 20, 2012 | 11 a.m.

Some tips for making the most of the day after Thanksgiving and a preview of some of the deals 

Culture | Amanda Ahlm

$urviving Black Friday for Dummie$

Black Friday is characterized as the most violent shopping day in the United States.

Thanksgiving is only a week away, accompanied by the busiest shopping day of the year: Black Friday. This year, instead of the early bird getting the worm through the early opening times, the real winners are the night owls. Stores have set their opening times to as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. If you are planning on going out during the late hours of the night or the early hours of the morning for any of the major stores' “doorbusters,” there are a few things you need to know to keep yourself from going insane. 

1. Do your research. Look at all the ads, especially if you are going for a big-ticket item, and make sure you are getting the best deal. Most ads put the regular price in the ad; otherwise it can be found online. Several Black Friday items are advertised as huge savings, when in reality, the amount of savings isn’t worth the time. 

2. Make a plan. On Black Friday, the stores are set up in a maze-like format, so your purchases cannot be quick. Don’t get distracted! Stick to your plan for each store; you will be more efficient and won’t end up with useless things you bought because they were cheap. 

3. Bring a friend. Waiting in line is typically cold, crowded and boring, so it isn’t ideal to be solo during this event. It is much more enjoyable to have at least one person with you. That way, you can take shifts standing in the line, someone can make a coffee run and you spare yourself from making “friends” in line out of boredom. 

4. Wear warm clothes. Dress in layers, so that once you get into the store you can take a layer off and don’t have to boil in your three winter coats. 

5. Drink a lot of coffee. If you aren’t a coffee drinker, you should probably become one for this day. Not only will you be staying up all night, but also there is a lot of walking and standing involved. If you are against coffee, find another (warm) source of caffeine, because you will need it. 

6. Bring coupons and ads. Although most of the deals don’t need coupons, some do, so it is better to be safe than sorry. Also, whether you bring the ads in paper or on a smart phone, it is much easier if you have them, because you can ask an sleep-deprived sales person to help you find what you need. 

7. You need to commit. If you are going for the big “doorbusters,” you have to pay the time for the price. Don’t expect to arrive at the store’s opening time and walk out with a $50 HDTV. If you are choosing to go for anything on the first page of the ad, you need to expect to arrive hours before the doors open, or be disappointed. 

8. Have some Christmas cheer. With the pushing, shoving, lines and lack of sleep, it is easy to make enemies. Don’t enter the event thinking, “I’ll never see these people again, anyway.” Have your Thanksgiving cheer carry over from the day before. 

9. There’s always Cyber Monday. Are crowds and lines not your thing? Check out store websites on the Monday after Black Friday for some equally great deals. The best part of this is that you can do it all from your couch. 

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