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Black Friday is something that you either love or hate. But if you feel like wading in this year, read on for our Black Friday survival tactics.
Black Friday vs Cyber Monday
Crowded stores, long lines, soccer moms rushing to get their kids gifts while knocking out those who are in the way, all of these are attributed to that glorious day each year. Although I feel like Black Friday is over-hyped to some degree, there are some great deals you just need to know where to look.
This may be why each year more people decide buy gifts online. So Cyber Monday (which is the Monday after Black Friday) continues to grow in popularity.
Honestly Cyber Monday is kind of a sham because many online retailers will offer deals that are just as good, if not better the entire week of Thanksgiving, including on Black Friday.
This year for example Walmart has a Samsung 42” 720p PN42B400 Plasma HDTV For $549, shipped ($250 off) available to buy online right now. The same deal is being advertised in store for Black Friday and I’m sure they will include it in their Cyber Monday deals as well.
If you shop on Amazon, they’ve had Black Friday deals available all week, with different deals available each day.
The same goes for most of the other major online retailers, so instead of waiting until Friday you may want to start shopping right now.
Black Friday Deal Sites
My favorite Black Friday deal sites are:
- BlackFriday.Info – You can see all of the Black Friday deals categorized and arranged by store.
- TheBlackFriday.com – This is another good site when looking for Black Friday deals. They’ve gone through and scanned most of the Black Friday ads so you can view them online all in one place.
If you have any other deal sites you like, share them in the comments!
Get To The Store Early
If you decide to buy from the store instead of online, be sure to get there early!
This is something that I’ve learned from personal experience. Pick a store that you will be getting the best deal at and get there BEFORE they open their doors.
Many people get to the store hours before opening. Even though I’m not that fanatical about it, I still try to get there a good 20 minutes or so before the doors open because the hot items go fast.
A few years ago I wanted an LCD TV from Best Buy that they had for about 50% off the normal price. Of course, it was one of the hottest deals they had that year. I got to the store no more than 30 minutes after they opened, and they were already sold out.
It was a major bummer; but I vowed never to get to the store after opening again.
It’s important to remember that many stores will open their doors early on Black Friday so be sure to get there at the correct opening time. Getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning is the hardest part of the whole ordeal in my opinion especially after a huge meal and a few drinks the night before.
Below I’ve included an up to date list of the adjusted store hours on Black Friday. Be sure to call your local store and verify because some store hours can vary.
- AAFES: Sale Starts at 4:00 AM
- Ace Hardware: Sale Starts at 7:00 AM
- Babies R Us: Sale Starts at 5:00 AM – Ends at 1:00 PM
- Bass Pro Shops: Sale Starts at 6:00 AM – Ends at 11:00 AM
- Bealls: Sale Starts at 4:00 AM – Ends at 1:00 PM
- BestBuy: Sale Starts at 5:00 AM
- Cabela’s: Sale Starts at Midnight
- Costco: Sale Starts at 9:00 AM
- Craft Warehouse: Sale Starts at 6:00 AM
- Gander Mountain: Sale Starts at 6:00 AM
- Gap Outlets: Sale Starts at Midnight at Participating Stores
- Half Price Books: Sale Starts at 7:00 AM – Ends at 10:00 AM
- Harbor Freight: Sale Starts at 7:00 AM
- Home Depot: Sale Starts at 6:00 AM
- JCPenney: Sale Starts at 4:00 AM
- Kmart: Sale Starts at 6:00 AM
- Kohls: Sale Starts at 4:00 AM – Ends at 1:00 PM
- Lowe’s: Sale Starts at 6:00 AM – Ends at Midnight
- Meijer: Sale Starts at 5:00 AM – Ends at 12:00 PM
- Menards: Sale Starts at 6:00 AM
- Northern Tool: Sale Starts at 6:00 AM
- OfficeMax: Sale Starts at 7:00 AM – Ends at 12:00 PM
- RadioShack: Sale Starts at 5:30 AM
- Sam’s Club: Sale Starts at 5:00 AM
- Sears: Sale Starts at 4:00 AM
- Sports Authority: Sale Starts at 5:00 AM
- Staples: Sale Starts at 6:00 AM – Ends at 10:00 AM
- Target: Sale Starts at 5:00 AM – Ends at 12:00 PM
- Toys R Us: Sale Starts at Midnight – Ends at 1:00 PM
Another Way to Survive Black Friday
One of my friends is sitting out Black Friday and Cyber Monday all together.
That is because she already bought most of her Christmas gifts in the last two weeks.
Her plan is to collect all the newspaper circulars at a local Starbucks on Friday morning, and then mail them in and take advantage of purchase price protection offered by her Discover and Amex credit cards.
She’ll get the advantage of the sales prices without the crowds and hassles.
For me, though, there is something a little “un-sportmanlike” in her Black Friday survival tactic. But to each, his or her own.