Oh, Thanksgiving! What was once a time of family gatherings and being thankful for what the year has brought is now a time to SHOP! SHOP! SHOP!

Black Friday is one of the most well-known shopping days in the world. There are many different deals throughout the year at your favorite stores, but none of these deals will ever match up to the insane deals that you will be able to take advantage of on Black Friday.

With these amazing deals come incredible obstacles. There are videos online of fights breaking out in stores that don’t look like something you would want to be a part of at all. Extremely long lines and grumpy tired people will always be a part of Black Friday. However, there are some ways in which you can prepare yourself for the survival of this brutal “holiday”.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become the new Thanksgiving tradition. Before you set down the turkey leg and think about the pumpkin pie, you will need a game plan to attack the deals. Use these tips and helpful advice to navigate the muddy waters of Black Friday.

Time is of the essence –

When you are shopping on Black Friday, you really have to make the most out of your time. You will spend most of this time waiting in line, so it is important to buy the items that you really need. Making a shopping list can be very beneficial to your Black Friday experience. Look through all the different deals that are going on and write down your favorite ones first. This can keep you from driving around to different stores and wasting your time just looking for deals that are available.

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All of the best deals will be swooped up early on, so you must make sure that you get an early start. Many shoppers have started learning to go to the stores right when they open and leave midday. This can help them to get a lot of shopping done without taking up their whole day.

Check out deals BEFORE you hit the stores –

Many retailers will offer online deals through their electronic store. This is a great alternative to many who are less excited about going to the stores and standing in line. Check with your favorite stores beforehand to see if they will have the deals you are looking for. It might be a better idea for you to skip the chaos in the stores and take advantage of the Black Friday deals from the comfort of your home.

Lists will ensure survival –

Your list of gifts should be as detailed as possible. Don’t forget to include:

  1. Everyone you’re shopping for.
  2. What you plan on buying each of them.
  3. The store where you plan on purchasing the gift(s) from.
  4. The price listed in the advertisement.

In your pre-shopping research, you should be able to compare prices and find what store has the best deal.

Thanksgiving Day deals (if you aren’t opposed to shopping on a holiday) –

By now, most of us should be accustom to the idea of retailers opening their doors early on Thanksgiving Day. What some people don’t realize is that the deals that you will see on Thursday will be better than those released on Black Friday.

So, if you aren’t opposed to shopping on a holiday and making people leave their food and families to work then you might score some amazing deals. Check out this awesome Black Friday savings guide: http://www.moneycrashers.com/black-friday-shopping-tips/

Black Friday is here – 

Are you sure you’re ready?

Black Friday shopping is NOT for the faint of heart. Stores are open at midnight or even earlier! They promise big doorbuster deals and other ways to entice the consumers. Limited numbers of items at reduced prices send shoppers to the stores on Thanksgiving night to wait in long lines before the store even opens.

There are numerous Black Friday emails, websites, and Smartphone Apps that offer sneak peeks at retailers’ Black Friday deals. This will help you not only compare prices, but also determine exactly what will be on your shopping list.

Bringing along a shopping buddy can be a great way to enjoy Black Friday. You will find that as a team you can really get more shopping done. It’s important to pick a shopping buddy who can keep up with your pace. Similarly, you don’t want to go with a shopping buddy who is going to wear you out.

Are there any door busters you’ll be buying? If so, be mindful of the time the prices will be available. Stores will usually only give door buster deals between certain times, such as between 6am and 8am.

Remember, the early bird catches the worm – 

Use these tips and find your happy place to have a successful shopping excursion:

  • Be prepared for long lines! In very popular stores, it can take hours to get to the checkout.
  • It’s worth the wait for a shopping cart. Don’t try holding everything in your arms.
  • Dress appropriately and in layers. You may have to wait outside and with all those people crowded around; it could become rather hot in some stores.
  • Do a quick review of the store’s layout beforehand. Is it possible to pick up the items you want while you are waiting in line? This will keep you from wandering around, and it will save you time!
  • Be pleasant with your fellow shoppers. Have fun! If you’re stressed out, Black Friday shopping is not the place for you. Try shopping online on Cyber Monday.
  • Make sure to keep your cash and/or credit cards in a secure location and never leave your purse or wallet unattended!

Cyber Monday Deals –

Cyber Monday has seen some changes in the past few years and deals can now be found even before Monday even hits. Music and movies from Amazon.comGoogle Play, and iTunes are something to consider for Cyber Monday deals. You should also check out tools, garden equipment, office furniture, clothing and apparel, shoes, Pyrex baking dishes, stainless steel pots, cutlery, outerwear, anything from Groupon or LivingSocial, and Crocs to name just a few.

There are many Pros to shopping on Cyber Monday:

  1. It’s easier and faster than going out on Black Friday and dealing with the crowds.
  2. You can easily compare prices online and make sure you are getting the best deal possible.
  3. You can shop at home in your pj’s, from work (just keep it to your lunch break), or while waiting for the plumber or cable guy to arrive.
  4. You don’t need to lug the kids around with you to every store or pay for a babysitter.
  5. Most places offer free shipping and more discounts with Promo codes.

In the End –

Whether you shop on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, or wait until Cyber Monday there are many great deals out there, and you are sure to find everything on your wish list.

Remember, if you get easily agitated or upset about long lines, lots of people and trouble finding parking then Black Friday shopping may not be the place for you. It might be better to wait until Cyber Monday. Usually, retailers offer special online only deals on that day and sometimes they even include free shipping or look in Google for a “free shipping” Promo code.

If you apply these techniques while shopping, Black Friday is something that will be much more enjoyable for everyone. Remember to be safe and courteous on this fast paced day of shopping!

Whatever your preferred shopping method is, remember it’s not the gift you give or receive that makes a holiday special…it’s the time spent with family and friends. For more money saving tips on holiday decorations, gifts, and stocking stuffers be sure to check out the Advantage CCS blog for more great posts like this one.

Author: Lauralynn Mangis
Lauralynn is the Online Marketing Specialist for AdvantageCCS. She is married and has two young daughters. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, cooking, video games, sewing, and gardening. Lauralynn has a degree in Multimedia Technologies from Pittsburgh Technical College.