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Black Friday Shopping: A Survival Guide

Stores boast some great sales on Black Friday and some bad deals marketed as great deals on Black Friday. There is no need to act like you are in the middle of the Hunger Games to get them.

A very important holiday for many Americans of all backgrounds falls at the end of this week.  I know your first thought probably shifted straight to Thanksgiving, Turkey Day or whatever other name you’d like to refer to it as. 

Nah, Thanksgiving is just merely a bump in the road for this important, All-American holiday.  I am of course referring to Black Friday, the holiest of all shopping days.  Whether you are one of the people who stands in line all night to buy the incredibly reduced, yet almost unattainable TVs or similar item or one of those who gets to the stores when they get to the stores, you know how crazy Black Friday shopping can be. 

Have you ever seen Mean Girls?  You know that scene by the fountain in the mall, where everyone is acting like a bunch of animals because of Lindsay Lohan’s character saying it was like the watering hole back in Africa or something? (I have not seen that movie one too many times. I promise.)  Yeah, that scene is pretty much what every store, mall and parking lot is like on Black Friday. 

This year let’s all take a step back and reassess the general approach taken to Black Friday shopping. 

Look at it this way: Everyone is trying to get the awesome deals.  Everyone wants that stupid parking space close to the store.  Everyone saw the last available blu ray player first.  But not everyone is going to get the best deal or the best parking space or even the blu ray player that now costs about how much they should be charging for them on a regular basis.

Stores do boast some really great sales on Black Friday.  They also boast some really bad deals marketed as great deals on Black Friday.  Either way, there is no need to act like you are in the middle of the Hunger Games to get them. 

First things first, get some sleep.  Yes, that does mean skipping the whole waiting in line until the store opens thing.  The world will not end if you do this.  Sleep, wake up at a normal hour and head to the stores later.  Say, the middle of the afternoon when the Black Friday diehards have retreated to their own homes.  It’s not nearly as scary as it might sound.  The deals are still on and most of the time, what you want will still be there.  (Unless it’s a door buster of course.)  Heck, last year Target still have TVs available at 2 in the afternoon.  You did read that right.  I said afternoon. 

If you do choose to go out, go straight to the parking lot furthest from the store.  Do not stop at the closer ones, do not collect $200.  Look, everyone wants to park right up close.  There are never any spots close to the stores and you’ll wind up spending more time looking for a space than you do shopping.  Or it will at least feel that way, and that is just as bad.  Picture the parking lot that even you forget is there and then go there.  Everyone else will still have forgotten it’s there. 

Before you resolve to go out though, scour the websites.  Those great deals in the store’s ad that caught your eye?  They are almost always available online as well as in the store.  Online shopping also has the added benefit of letting you skip the lines and the crowds, and you don’t even need to leave the house.  Oh and did I mention that the sales usually go up sooner?  Try it; I’m sure you’ll like it.

And above all, be polite.  Remember you want to be there and you chose to go out to the stores.  The store employees that are working on Black Friday didn’t choose to go in to work that day and probably do not want to be there.  All of the aggravation you are feeling from your fellow shoppers they are probably feeling ten times worse, because they have been dealing with it all day.  Smile, say thank you; you know everything they told you back in kindergarten that most people seem to forget eventually. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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