How To Beat Black Friday

Last year’s Black Friday was not a fun one for me. Determined to get some good deals in the wee hours of the day, I woke up super early to start my shopping.

After hours of going from one store to another, fighting the ridiculous crowds, and coming back nearly empty-handed (no pity buys for me…go big or go home, right?), I swore that I’d never waste another Black Friday in stores.

I’d always shopped online during Black Friday, so this year, I decided to do the same. Using a combination of deal aggregator sites, big-box store websites, and, I scanned the web for good deals.

Nothing in particular caught my eye, but I did buy a pair of Creative Recs at 70% off a few days before (thanks, Slickdeals!). Black Friday this year turned out to be uneventful for me, and I for one was glad.

Fast forward one day. I decided to do some shopping, so I ventured out to stores expecting a post-Black Friday apocalypse. I entered a Target waiting to see rows of empty shelves and scattered leftovers.

Everything was still there.

The deals were still on. Many items were still on sale, having been carried over from Black Friday as Friday/Saturday-only sales. And the best part? The crowds were not there at all.

I picked up a Dirt Devil corded stick vacuum for $9. There were still lots of other two-day deals, especially in the toys and media sections of the store.

Next stop was the mall. The Macy’s still had full stock of clothes, at pretty standard prices. A lot of the other stores still had buy x items get x items free promotions.

To make things a little sweeter, after I got home, I spotted a Black Friday magazine sale (thanks to Slickdeals again). Renewed my Wired and Automobile magazines, for around $4/year each.

So to recap, even though I didn’t score amazing deals on Black Friday (and I mean amazing as in camping-out worthy), I realized that most people don’t walk away with $199 40″ plasma TVs anyway.

People look for deals, and prefer to shop with low-hassle and crowds. The best way to avoid crowds and still get deals is to keep a sharp lookout online and shop the following day.You’ll still get many of the same deals, without the stress.

Of course, if you’re the type who prefers the festive mood and insane crowds (and I know some of you do), by all means, enjoy Black Friday. There’s a certain rush to beating out Bob there to the last Nerf Barricade and running around town to look for some doorbuster deals. Just remember to stay safe and have fun!

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