What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the day AFTER Thanksgiving. This is usually the day that kicks off Winter/Christmas sales, so most stores have their best deals today. Usually such great deals that people will camp out overnight to be sure to get whatever is on sale. Is it worth the $50 in savings? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It's how much you value your time. It's one thing to wait to get the item, it's another thing to have to wait in line to actually purchase that item.
BF is not a leisure shopping day. Most stores open between 5 & 6 am with some opening at midnight. A store like Wal Mart will have lines wrapping around the parking lot and out to the street. If you plan well you can get everything or almost everything you want in 4 hours or less and your Christmas shopping could be done.
Certain items on BF are free, almost free, or severely discounted (usually after rebate). CD-Rs, DVD+/-Rs and jewel cases are always free somewhere. Printer paper is usually almost free and SD cards are severely discounted. I saw one store that had 512mb cards for $10 and another for $20 with 1gb cards for $40. Memory Stick and hard drive prices are severely cut too. Last year I got a 200gb hd for $60.
1. Map out all the stores you want items in.
2. Go to stores with biggest savings first. Going to one store to save $5 on a children's toy when you could save $100 on a TV is not smart if you wanted both. If you want electronics, hit those stores first. Electronics tend to have the highest price tags thus have room for bigger discounts.
3. If items available on BF are available now, buy it now. You can return it on BF and get it for the lower price and you'll be doing it in the customer service line which should be shorter.
4. Traffic will be very bad. Know your route to each store noting any shortcuts beforehand.
5. Beware of rebate rules. Most are
Usually you could get away with sending same items on the same receipt to different family members at different addresses. Different names. Different adresses. Cool, right?
What they fail (or never) to mention is
One per receipt
Many receipts have a barcode (like Circuit City or Staples) or receipt number.
If you buy more than one of the same item on the same receipt, the rebate fulfiller sees the same receipt number and disqualifies all but the 1st of the same items. Some do it and some don't.
If possible, buy more than one of the same item as separate purchases.
6. Fill out your rebate information THE NEXT DAY. Retailers and manufacturers bank (literally) on consumers not sending the rebates in or not following the rebate rules.
6a. Be sure you are going to keep an item before cutting the UPC for the rebate (if needed). Hook the item up and make sure it works. You may have to take it back and it's easier with the UPC attached.
6b. Stores that do online rebates are preferable. For example, with Staples Easy Rebates you buy an item, you go home and enter the rebate number, name, address, and the item you bought and a check comes in the mail. Remember to separate like items into different purchases. If you bought 2 100 packs of DVD+Rs, it will know and tell you online.
7. If possible, split up if there's more than one of you doing the shopping. You can separate by going to different stores in different cars or separate within a store to nab the different items you are looking for. It saves time and helps guarantee you get what you what before anyone else does.
8. If something's popular buy more than one of it. I saw Chappelle's Show Season 1 and 24 season 1 for $10 last year. I bought 5 copies 'cause I knew people would want them. You can sell it (and add a couple $ if you want) or give it as gifts.
9. Clean out the trunk of your car. You may need the room.
10. Get plenty of sleep that night. You are getting up at probably 4am ffs.
Remember this day is all about getting in and getting out. Sale items are noted beforehand in the sales paper. Everything else is hogwash. Get it another day.
Most of your holiday shopping can be done in a day. You can watch everyone else frantically try to find last minute items and while you sit back and relax 'till Christmas.