How to have the smoothest shopping experience this Black Friday

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The first official day of the holiday shopping season is upon us, and it is going to be hectic this year. Last Black Friday, COVID-19 motivated many shoppers to stay home and buy online. Although most stores have decided to stay closed the night of Thanksgiving, despite sales starting at that time in the past, all stores will be open for business early Friday morning. If you are one of the brave shoppers heading out for Black Friday this year, here are some tips to relieve some much-needed stress.  

Make a list of the items you need before you leave the house. Mindless shopping on Black Friday is not a good idea, as popular items sell out in a matter of hours, and stores quickly overcrowd as the day progresses. Creating a list of the gifts you are looking to purchase will help prepare your itinerary for the day and will help you avoid wasting time.  

Also, make sure the stores you are visiting are worth your time and effort. Some stores do not budge with their prices for Black Friday, whereas others have bargains that are definitely worth looking into. Common clothing stores usually have better sales online during Black Friday compared to in the actual store, and their in-person locations tend to become disorganized with all the people coming in and out through the day. Check the opening and closing times of stores as well to keep your day on track.  

Shop for big gifts first. By big gifts, I’m talking about items such as electronics, shoes and jewelry. Apple usually has great deals on their products through the weekend, but the process of purchasing a new phone or computer can be time-consuming, so get this done first. Target and Best Buy become madhouses with shoppers looking for the newest electronics, so check out some of their online deals before you head to the stores.  

Speaking of online shopping, we cannot forget about Cyber Monday, which falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Cyber Monday is basically the virtual version of Black Friday in which retailers lower their product prices on their websites to promote online shopping. Cyber Monday is useful if you are looking to shop small social media businesses or your favorite clothing retailers because of their great sales. It’s also a great option if you want to shop from the comfort of your own bed.  

Prepare accordingly for the day. Getting a good sleep after Thanksgiving is essential to a good shopping experience if you are going to be out all day. Eat a nourishing breakfast, and keep snacks and water bottles in the car. If you are a dedicated shopper there will be no time for lunch! Pack extra masks to have on hand in case you lose or break yours, and most importantly for those of us living in cold climates, do not wear a big jacket into the stores. They generate heat from all of the people coming in and out, and you do not want to carry a jacket with you through the stores.  

Finally, enjoy the chaos. If you decide to head out for Black Friday this year, be aware of the crowds and commotion and make an experience out of it. The holidays only come around once a year and being able to spend time with friends or family is what it’s all about. Stay safe and have fun out there! 

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