Sunday, November 21, 2010

Black Friday Tips 2010

I'm in the process of planning for Black Friday this year, so I decided to turn back the clock and find my Black Friday Tips from last year and repost! I'll let you know more as soon as I have time to check out the ads.
  • Have a list of what you want to buy and where you want to buy it. Prioritize by most important items and most likely to sell out items. Plan which store you will go to first based on your list.
  • Be okay with not getting an item - lots of stores will have limited quantities of the most popular or deeply discounted items.
  • Go with a team or at least a friend. There a limits on the number of certain items you can buy per person, so if you need two of a certain digital camera and the store will only let you purchase one per person, your buddy can get your second one. You can also split up to get the most desired items once you hit the store. Have a charged cell phone handy. Plus, waiting in line is more fun if you have someone to talk to.
  • Just park. Don't drive around looking for a great spot. Wear sneakers and suck it up. This is retail war, people.
  • Keep your gift receipts and regular receipts in a special envelope so you don't lose them. Don't leave them in the bag in case things get stolen. Keep your car locked and your purchases stashed away for the same reason.
  • Don't wear bulky stuff or bring bulky purses, just bring your wallet in a zip pocket in your coat or a purse you can strap across your body. Despite what some random emails you might get from people say, you can not get decapitated by your purse strap if someone tries to snag it. You may get dragged a little, but I think we all expect that on Black Friday.
  • Bring a big bag to store all your little bags
  • Bring your own coffee for waiting in outside lines and a few granola bars - you probably won't have time to stop to eat stuff. After you've finished your shopping, you can always stop at Starbucks or for some lunch to tell war stories and enjoy the spoils. (side note: realize that if you bring and drink coffee you might find yourself waiting in a completely different line...for the restroom)
  • Have a sense of humor and be patient and forgiving - as Sue Stock said, the gift of giving does not come with bail money - don't be that woman on the evening news attacking someone over a sweater. This is Thanksgiving, not Slapsgiving.
Plus Lessons Learned from Last Year:
  • Keep a close eye on your cart. I got the last two digital picture frames and you wouldn't believe how many sneaky folks were ready to pounce on them if I turned my back for a second.
  • Be polite when attempting to cross through the check out line to get to another part of the store. If people think you are cutting in line, they might take you DOWN.
  • Bring coupons. I didn't know there was a Kohl's 15% off coupon out there, which was surprising to me since I usually know where all the coupons are. Kohl's is the one store for which I'm not actually on their mailing list for special deals (ok, there's probably more than one store). I now have a separate gmail account just for stores and special deals. Playskool also had a bunch of printable toy coupons on, and there was one for $5 off a Star Wars toy floating around out there. Keep in mind, some items might be excluded from your store coupon use, but the manufacturer's ones should work.
  • Use hand sanitizer. Nuf said. Ew.
  • I might consider bringing my own stroller next year to use as a cart even though I didn't bring my kid. It was a pain waiting for a cart.
  • Remember where you parked. People will stalk you for your spot even if it's out in East Jibib, so walking up and down the parking aisles looking for your car can be annoying when 3 SUVs are following you at a creeping pace.
  • Go with a budget in mind and give yourself a few dollars leeway. It is so easy to get carried away and want to buy things for yourself! I'm not saying you shouldn't, but remember the purpose here is to save money. If you blow your budget, you may have some cute stuff, but you won't be saving as much as you'd like.
  • Keep the ENDING times in mind - you may not get there at 4am, but keep in mind that certain doorbuster/early bird prices are only good until noon or 1pm. After that, the deals may be gone.
  • You can really only go to two to four different stores during the early bird time period, so choose wisely. Remember that you will spend time finding your item, fighting tooth and nail for it, and then waiting in line while attempting to scare off any cutters (no backsies!) - the waiting in line and driving between stores alone could take you an hour.
  • Bring water and a snack and keep it in the car. You'll need it!
  • Plan your driving route carefully - 15-501 was a mess last year. Take back roads if you think it will be crowded.
  • Have fun! When else do you get to go on this kind of shopping spree and be home in time for leftover turkey and stuffing?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Super Doubles this week! Plus e-coupons

Sorry all - I completely fell down on the job this week with Super Doubles but it is still going on until Wednesday!

Also, Harris Teeter is starting to roll out it's e-coupon program - you can load them directly onto your card. The bummer? The coupons don't double, and you can't use a printed coupon in addition to the e-coupon. But, could be a good option for an item you don't otherwise have a coupon for!