Friday, November 12, 2010

Beckees Guide to Black Friday shopping part 1

I have so much good stuff in my email today that I hardly know where to begin! I guess I will just get a move on and try to get as much useful information out to you as I can before preschool drop off!

I want to start out by talking a little bit about "Black Friday" shopping. I have, for YEARS, been a huge Black Friday Shopper and usually have done all my shopping for Christmas on Black Friday (well I do end up getting a stocking stuffer or 2 after). Last year my husband had to work on Black Friday, but I got in a few REALLY early morning deals before he left. This year he works Black Friday again, so I may or may not go out. Honestly, I got all my Christmas shopping for this year done by mid-January as I shopped all the after Christmas clearance and used coupons and got some MAJOR deals. So, I am basically done anyway.

However, my sister has decided to try the Black Friday shopping this year for the first time and has asked me to write up some tips and tricks to Black Friday shopping. I cannot possibly say all I want in one post, so I will just post a few Black Friday tips at a time.

Today I want to tell you how I have historically done Black Friday. When my newspaper comes on Thanksgiving morning, I am like a kid in a candy store! I sit down on my bed with the Macy's parade playing and the food already cooking in the kitchen and I whip out the ads. I go through and circle the GREAT deals I would LOVE to get in each ad-taking special note of the doorbusters. I write a list of each store, what doorbusters I would love to have and what time that store opens for their doorbuster sales. BEFORE Thanksgiving, I sit down with my husband and we write up a list of who we need to buy for and what we think we might want to get them.

So, after checking the ads, I compare the 2 lists and prioritize-are there specific items from my list of gifts I am looking for that are great deals somewhere on sale? What Doorbusters do I really want and are the at a place that usually has a ton of the items (like Walmart usually does here) or a place that limits the number to the first 25 (like Nebraska Furniture Mart)? Basically I look at what my odds are of getting what I want at the stores.

Once I have prioritized and listed which items I actually want to get and at which store they will be sold, then I look at the times the stores open in the morning and write up a plan of action as to where to go first, second, etc.

This has been my beloved tradition for many, MANY years. However, the last couple years have made my tradition a bit easier for a couple reasons. One is that last year at least, Walmart pricematched ALL the ads-even doorbusters! I went to one store! (The obvious downfall to that is that it is extra busy there and the more people that figure out they can price match the doorbusters, the less likely you are to get that item there.)

Second, and more important as far as convenience (especially when hubby is working and I am NOT going to take 4 kids to shop in those crowds for their own Christmas presents) is that LOTS of places have ONLINE doorbusters as well, and there is a growing "Cyber Monday" where online deals are often amazing as well.

Also, one more tip I will mention is that every year there are websites that leak the Black Friday deals and doorbusters before they are released. You can check those out, but be aware that you will still need to check your local ads when they come out to make sure what you are looking for and expecting is really on the local ad!

What questions do you have about Black Friday Shopping? Or what tips can you share with other Beckees Deals readers? I would LOVE to hear what your take on Black Friday is! Please comment or email me with questions or comments! (email is