The day after Thanksgiving Day is called Black Friday, which is said to have originated in Philadelphia during the 1960s to describe the difficulty of police and drivers to deal with exceptionally heavy traffic on that day as shoppers flooded the city’s commercial center.
Another reason for the term ‘Black Friday’ is that many stores reach sales numbers that take them out of the red and (hopefully) keep them in the black for the rest of the fiscal year. Black Friday is considered to be the start of the Christmas shopping season.
With stores offering drastically marked-down prices on in-demand items on Black Friday, Thanksgiving Day sales bring big crowds and long lines are to be expected. In a sense, Black Friday can be thrilling and stressful all at the same time.
To successfully make it through the mall without being pummeled by other people looking for a good deal, we have some tips and tricks to make your holiday shopping spree a little easier:
Weeks Before Black Friday:
- Make a list of the must-have products that you are shopping for this holiday season, including the names of the people for whom you are shopping. This will make your day more organized, and will reduce the number of unnecessary purchases that you make.
- Sign up for store e-mail updates so that you will be among the first to know what will be on sale.
- Print out any online coupons you may have.
- Sign up for free store club cards that offer discounts or coupons.
- Determine whether shopping in your area is the best way to spend as little money as possible. Perhaps shopping in a tax-free state, such as New Jersey, is a better idea.
- Consider outlet shopping.
- Stay in touch with the must-have product suppliers on Facebook, or follow their Twitter to learn latest promotion or giveaway information in the first time.
The Day Before Black Friday:
- Eat a lot of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. This will not help your shopping, per se, but will make you feel happy and satisfied.
- Get a good’s night sleep the night before — thanks to all that food in your belly it shouldn’t be too hard to fall asleep.
The Day Of Thanksgiving Day Sales:
- Know exactly the time that the stores you want to hit are open, and go to the store that has the best deals, and/or the gift you want to get the most first. Be there at least a half-hour before it opens if the gift is popular.
- Leave the kids at home; this is not a day to worry about hand-holding and good behavior.
- Be caffeinated and full – don’t shop on low energy and an empty stomach.
- Pack snacks so that you don’t have to stop your marathon shopping day to grab some grub from the food court.
- Bring along a MP3 player or portable CD player to help pass the time when you are waiting to pay for your finds.
- Don’t worry about purchasing little gifts today, such as stocking stuffers, but rather focus on gifts that are bigger, harder to find, and more expensive.
- Consider this a good day to look for that new winter coat or little black dress you need. Clothing sales are usually very good on Black Friday, because so many people are already in the stores looking for toys and gifts.
- Recheck the products suppliers’ Facebook and Twitter to learn news to this hour.
- If a product is not available, but the store offers a rain check, take it. Make sure that when you cash in your rain check you are getting the price that the product was listed at for that day.
A Few Days After Black Friday Sales:
- Cyber Monday, the Monday immediately following Black Friday, is a busy day for online retailers who offer special deals, products, and discounts.
- If you didn’t get all of the products off of your list while shopping at those after-Thanksgiving sales, log on first thing Monday morning and see what you can find.
- Look for online coupons, including offers for free shipping and a certain discounts from retailers.
- Know the online retailers return policy, shipping information, and payment procedure so that you are not worrying about any of those details before you purchase the item.
- Do a little research among retailers, and don’t just settle for the first good price that you see on that must-have product.
- Calculate shipping and other online fees before determining whether you are getting a fair deal.
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