How I survived Black Friday

How I survived Black Friday

by Brittany FriesthNews Editor

Last Friday was my first Black Friday experience and from what I saw, I never would have believed the horror stories I have heard over the years.

For example, a fellow Simpson College classmate described to me various instances where she was bruised in her attempt to grab a certain electronic or had her purse stolen. Or how about the stories where there are absolutely no parking spots so you have to be there about an hour before the store opens?

Sadly, as eventful as Black Friday was for me, I didn’t experience the crazy, hectic atmosphere where people sprint to get one of five laptops or throw punches when two people grab the same item.

Instead, I spent eight hours feeling as if the three locations I shopped were as busy as a regular Saturday, except the long lines were longer than I had ever witnessed.

For those of you who dare to venture into Black Friday’s shopping madness next year, I compiled a short list of tips.

1.Research the Bargains This suggestion should be the most obvious, but knowing what you want and where you can find the best deal is important to the order in which you visit stores. If you feel the need for the $250 laptop, be prepared to know that a lot of other people want it also.

2. Persevere!

Everyone shopping at midnight, 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. is in the same boat as you-fatigued and annoyed after a few hours of battling the crowds. Just remember the $100 savings on the GPS system you’re buying for your dad is worth the possible brawls.

3. Wear comfortable shoes

I wasn’t exaggerating when I said the lines were long. The shortest line we stood in was 20 minutes-15 minutes too long for my taste. And the longest line took my stepmom and I about 45 minutes to get through.

When everything was said and done and the bags were taken into the house, I was thrilled to finally get off my feet after shopping from midnight to 9 a.m.

4. Be personable

While standing in line, you can’t help but be chums with those waiting in line with you. You learn about others’ past Black Friday experiences and hear about what happened at stores in the area.

I learned that at Toys R Us, a fight broke out, the police were called and the store had to shut its doors almost as soon as it opened at midnight. I learned later that day from a woman I worked with that her sister witnessed the brawl.

It’s also a plus when you can’t help but see a bargain a few feet away and want to snatch it. It’s convenient when you feel comfortable asking the person next to you to watch your cart and save your spot.

5. Implement a Buddy System

Whatever you do, do not shop Black Friday alone. Not only will the two of you be in it for the long haul, but it also makes it easier if one of you isn’t done shopping and has to go out in the battlefield again or needs to make a break for the restroom.

6. Shop Light

Lugging around a winter jacket or giant purse is unnecessary. First, you don’t want to lose them somewhere in the store or have them stolen. Secondly, having enough room in your cart is vital to ensuring you can fit the 40″ televisions, three digital cameras, 15 DVDs and iHome dock like one couple I noticed.

Maybe my Black Friday experience was atypical, but my suggestions could suffice in making even the most chaotic Black Friday bearable!