10 Black Friday Shopping Tips from a Pro

As some of you may remember, I'm a seasoned Black Friday shopper. So today, I'm going to post ten hints, tips, and tricks for your Black Friday pleasure. Hopefully these will help you score goodies and encourage you to out there and get in on the sweet deals.

  1. Check out sales ahead of time. This can help you plan out where to go and how to spend your time. BFAds.net is a great site to check out the sales ads from many major retailers. Also check out the websites of the stores in the mall(s) you're planning on hitting. 
  2. Find out the hours of the stores. Some stores open even before midnight. Typically, the earlier in the day (or night), the better the deals. 
  3. Make a list. Make lists of things you need, people to buy Christmas gifts for, stores to visit (and their hours), and sales you want to get in on. If you don't make lists you might find yourself buying too many extras, or missing sales. Making a list keeps you on track and on time.
  4. Carry cash. You're less likely to overspend if you can watch the cash disappear, instead of swiping through your budget.
  5. Shop with a friend. Friends can help you avoid impulse buys, and can also help you tag-team shop.
  6. Tag-Team shopping. When a checkout line wraps around the store, this is the most popular technique. It requires that you have another person shopping with you. You grab a spot in line for the two of you while the other on shops, and then you switch. Then just stay in line together until you finally reach check-out. This way you can both shop and get through the line.
  7. Follow stores and malls on twitter and like them on facebook. Some will give out coupons, hint at sales, give you updated info on parking, etc.
  8. Eat before. You need energy and hunger will only cause weakness. If you think you can get by on a cup of coffee and a powerbar, you're probably wrong. You should get a solid, but not too heavy, meal in.
  9. Bring water and snacks. You'll be hungry in a couple hours. Don't load yourself down, but make sure you've got some munchies on hand.
  10. Go to the Outlets. If there is an outlet mall in your area, that is where you want to be. Trust me, that's where the best deals are, and frankly, there are fewer crazed soccer moms and people willing to claw at you face for the new Lego set. Outlet Malls are where the seasoned sale-shoppers go, and they typically have a lot more respect for their fellow shoppers. 
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