Shopping on the day after Thanksgiving is all about strategy. From finding the best deals to timing your arrival, every part of the process needs to be carefully planned out, and surviving the Black Friday crowds is no exception.
Here are five simple ways to make your way through the masses and make your crowd-dodging experience more manageable.
1. Stay on Path
It may seem simple, but the best way to maneuver through a Black Friday crowd and make your way to a great deal or doorbuster is to know exactly where you’re going. You don’t want to get lost in the chaos and lose sight of the item or items you’ve been planning to purchase.
Thankfully, savvy shoppers know that many stores release maps detailing the precise location of specific deals ahead of the shopping extravaganza. You’ll want to check these – or possibly even print them out – before you hit the stores.
Walmart has already posted store maps for its locations on the retailer’s official website. Target, too, has unveiled maps online, with the promise that customers can use them to find their way to the hottest deals in the store.
No matter which store you’re planning on shopping at this Black Friday (or Thanksgiving), conduct a quick online search to see if there’s a map available for you to use. Who knows? Having an idea of which aisle to turn down could make the difference between having an opportunity to buy a product and missing out.
2. Lighten Your Load
You’ll want to travel light on the day of your deal-shopping excursion. For your own personal safety and protection, try to carry a select number of personal items with you. You don’t want your possessions (phone, wallet, etc.) to get lost or stolen in the midst of the mad rush through a retailer’s doors.
Furthermore, carry whatever belongings you may have with you near the front of your body, rather than in a back pocket. You’ll be brushing up against a lot of strangers throughout the course of the day, and this strategy will hopefully help keep your items within your sight and out of the sight of any opportunist thieves.
3. Dress Comfortably
Shopping during this busy discount event will require lots of walking through aisles and standing in line.
Keep yourself as comfortable as possible by dressing in nonrestrictive clothing. Additionally, choose shoes that won’t cause you any pain, even after standing on your feet for hours upon hours.
Furthermore, depending on the climate that you’re in, consider dressing in layers. It may be cold outside, but stores filled with masses of shoppers can become warm, so you’ll want to think ahead and avoid becoming overheated once you’re inside.
4. Color Coordinate
If you’re going Black Friday shopping with a friend, family member or group of friends, you don’t want to get separated in the post-Thanksgiving melee.
Have you ever tried scanning a crowd for someone you know, only to realize you can’t remember what that person is wearing? Avoid this possible problem by color coordinating with your group.
Specifically, try to choose bright, bold colors that will stand out from the other shoppers. This way, you’ll be able to easily meet up with your group for some shopping reinforcement or a strategy huddle.
5. Be Polite
The Golden Rule, treating others the way you would want to be treated, definitely applies to a bargain-hunting setting. Conflict, arguments, pushing and shoving take away from the merry and bright seasonal experience.
Be kind and considerate to your fellow shoppers to make for a better Black Friday experience for you and everyone around you.
Mall crowd image via Shutterstock