Tips for Organized Black Friday Shopping

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overhead view of green Christmas shopping bag, alarm clock, and red thermos on wood table

Are you a Black Friday shopper? In my experience, people either live for the thrill or avoid it all costs. I’ve done some Black Friday shopping over the years, but I’m a low-key Black Friday shopper. My friend, M., is a huge fan of Black Friday shopping. She’s a Jedi Master of Black Friday Shopping. I love to watch her plan her shopping strategy and execute it. It’s a wonder to see her work. Thanks to M., I have some simple tips for organized Black Friday Shopping that will turn you into a Black Friday shopping Jedi Master, too. 

The key to successful Black Friday shopping is taking the time to plan for organized Black Friday shopping. These are my friend, M.’s, favorite tips.

Tips for Organized Black Friday Shopping

Search Black Friday Ads Early – M. starts checking the Black Friday ads websites a several weeks before Black Friday. The earlier you can plan your shopping list, the less stressful it will be. Definitely check the Black Friday ads websites and take advantage of many of their shopping tools, like generating shopping lists. 

Go the Day Before to Try on Shoes and Clothing – If you plan on purchasing clothing or shoes on Black Friday, take the time to go a day or two before and try those items on. Make a note of which sizes and colors you want to purchase. This will save you time and stress on Black Friday since you can simply grab what you need and not fight the rest of the crown to try items on. 

Consider Shopping on Wednesday and Thursday – Some stores start their Black Friday sales on Wednesday or Thursday either in-store or on-line. Take advantage of those earlier sale days to save yourself time and to make sure you get the items you want in case the stock sells out on Black Friday.

Know Which Stores Will Price Match – Some stores will price match other stores’ Black Friday sale prices. Know in advance which stores will price match and identify that on your shopping lists.  If you can concentrate your shopping to a handful of stores that will price match rather than hitting lots of stores for just one sale item, you’ll have yourself time and stress.

Make a Shopping List for Each Store – Have a detailed shopping list for each store so that you don’t get confused in the chaos of the shopping crowd. Bring the print copies of each store’s Black Friday ads if you have them to help you find items and ask clerks for a specific item.

Prioritize Items within Each Store – Identify which items are the first you want to target at each store. Some items are important to you and others will be sold out quickly. You need to determine your own must-have-items and put them at the top of your list for each store. 

Place Items on Back-up Store Lists – Popular sale items will be on sale at more than one store. Make a note on each store’s list where else you can find each item in case it’s sold out at the first stores you shop at. 

Prioritize Your Stores – Plan the order of stores you’ll hit. Consider opening times, importance of sale items to you and your driving route.

Split Each Store List Up for Your Shopping Team – My friend M. goes shopping with a team of family members. Each member has a portion of the list at each store to make shopping more efficient.  Your team can fan out in the store, grab their items and meet up at the check-out line. 

Ask the Store Greeter for a Map – Often stores will place displays of sale items in a part of the store that may not make sense to you in an effort to spread the traffic out more evenly in the store. Some of the large department stores have store maps for Black Friday sale items. Ask the greeter for a map when you enter the store so that you don’t waste time looking for a particular sale item.

Have One Person Get in Line – If you use M.’s shopping team strategy, have one person get in the check-out line if it’s long. The other shopping team members should gather the items on their list and meet the person waiting in the check-out line. 

Talk to Clerks and Ask Questions – If you can’t find a sale item, ask a sales clerk. Understand that the clerks are harried and exhausted, so be patient with them. Let the clerk know exactly what you’re looking for and show them on your phone or in a sales flyer so they can help you find it.   

Keep a Positive Attitude – Remember the reason you are venturing out on Black Friday – to buy gifts for family and friends. Keep a good attitude and do what you can to spread the holiday spirit, even in the face of frustration and grumpiness from others.

overhead view of green Christmas shopping bag, alarm clock, and red thermos on wood table

What tips for organized Black Friday shopping do you use to ensure your shopping success? Be sure to check out my 7 Must-Know Tips to Organize Black Friday Shopping that I shared at Ask Anna. 

light blue file folder with with label "gift receipts" and paper receipts inside

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  1. The idea to go the day before and “try on” is about the best tip I’ve heard all year. Totally sharing this out…

  2. Great tips Susan! I especially love the one about trying stuff on the day before. I also make sure I wear comfy shoes because the lines can be long. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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