Black Friday Survival Guide – How to Shop Like a Pro

Black Friday is the Super Bowl of shopping events and you don’t need to be a pro to participate. If you are planning to shop on this potentially dangerous and stressful day then it is best to be prepared. On Black Friday you will need to shop like the professionals do. How do you do such a thing you ask? As a professional shopper for over a decade, I am going to give you mamas the gift of professional shopping tips ad tricks that I have learned from many years of shopping.

I cannot stress the value of planning ahead and part of that planning ahead is assessing what kind of Black Friday you would like to have. You can either wait in line for crazy discounts like doorbusters or take advantage of the all day sales like 30% off everything sales. Decide now, and check out your tips below.

For the Doorbuster Types:

The key to getting through a doorbuster is endurance and organization. You will first need to survive the line and then be able to locate the item that you waited over an hour for inside the store. Many stores do not even have 10 of those items in stock hence the running and screaming when the doors open. The large chain stores usually distribute maps of the store so that shoppers can run directly to their desired item.  For these reasons, only go after one doorbuster item from each store as you will likely not get more than that. If you do, consider yourself lucky. Have a list of your top 3 doorbuster items and then run your little tail off to get them.

Remember, this is not shopping for fun, this is shopping on Black Friday.  What will be fun however is adding up all of the money you saved afterwards. Here are some survival tips.

Doorbuster Tips:

  • Bring Food and water for waiting in line – you can also bring a few dollars in cash as there are usually people selling hot coco and cider outside.
  • Dress warm for outdoor lines – a synthetic layer like Under Armor should be the first fabric touching your skin. Work your way out with more natural fibers like wool and cotton.
  • Bring large shopping bags like the ones from Ikea to help with carrying all of your loot.
  • Go alone or with ONE friend. Decide on meeting places and time limits before entering the store. Limit your distractions as much as possible.
  • Make a list of exactly what you are looking to buy and where.
  • Draw up a map with store locations and opening hours. You can sometimes hit up more than one opening if they are all within close proximity.
  • Download Black Friday Apps to your favorite malls. Simon Malls has an app that you can download and several other companies will be facebooking and tweeting live from their stores.
  • DO NOT BROWSE- Go straight for the deals and nothing more. Anything else you can buy at a later date.
  • Do not buy anything that is less than 40% off.


For the Less Crazy Deal Seeker

Pick an indoor mall and go after the doorbusters are over around 9am. You will have to park far far away but trust me, it will be worth it. There will still be great deals and you will be able to shop at your own pace. There are many retailers that do not try to compete in the doorbuster arena and instead offer all day deals like buy 1 get 1 free or 50% off of the entire store. Those deals may not be for a $100 flat screen TV, but they are still very worth it.

Mall Tips:

  • Pick a mall that is off the beaten path or not popular in your area. They will be most likely to have good things in stock.
  • Look for a mall with a lot of retailers participating in Black Friday such as, Bath and Body Works, Gap, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters, Children’s Place, Disney Store, Macy’s, Sears, etc. This way you can make the most out of your shopping.
  • Bring food and water with you from home
  • Dress light as the mall will ultimately get hot.
  • Take a trip to your car half way through the day. Getting fresh air and lightning your load will be essential to regenerating your stamina and keep shopping!