Are you a Black Friday shopper? I’ve decided there are three kinds of Black Friday shoppers. You have the stay-up-all-night, get in line and wait for the doors to open, love the excitement types. Then there’s the laid back, show up after the sun rises and see what’s left types. And then there’s the “pour myself a glass of wine, put on my slippers, cruise the internet for deals and never leave my house” types. (Can you guess which type I am? Hint: I like wine and slippers.) I’m talking to you ambitious shoppers who actually leave the house. Let’s talk tips on how you can make your shopping trip successful and score Black Friday Blowouts.
The secrets to Scoring Black Friday Blowouts: Planning and Patience
- The first thing to do when you are preparing a Black Friday shopping trip: Plan ahead. Make a list of stores you know you want to investigate before you go. Stores like Wal-mart, Target and JCPenney all put their ads out in advance. Check those out and make a list while you’re waiting for the turkey to finish cooking. Bypass the newspaper and check out this searchable online 2016 Black Friday Database.
- Don’t forget to look online at places like Amazon to compare. Sometimes Amazon’s prices can’t be beat, and they have lightning deals happening all week. Make your list, then look up what you’re interested in. You can also download the Amazon app and scan the barcode of the item you’re interested in right there in the store. Another tool I use to make sure I’m getting the best deal is camelcamelcamel. It’s an free Amazon price tracker.
- Bring a buddy and tag team, and if you can, leave the kiddos at home. Whining can suck the life out of even the heartiest shopper.
- SNACKS are key, as well. Coffee/cocoa, nuts, protein bars…keep up your energy. You can nap later!
- Skip the cart! Large, reusable shopping bags make it easier for you to maneuver through the crowded aisles. (Unless you’re going for a gazillion-inch flat screen TV, obviously.)
- Be nice. We could all use some kindness given and received even in the throes of deal competition. No TV is worth injury, fighting, and your dignity. Chat it up with fellow shoppers in line with you. They may be a wealth of good ideas! You’re all in this Black Friday together.
Small business Saturday
Once you’ve recovered, taken a nap, chowed down on some leftover turkey and relaxed, take a look at what’s available on your community’s very own main street. Don’t forget our small, local businesses that carry locally-made products. The lifeblood of our communities are with our small shops. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Martinsburg: Berkeley Art Works (Don’t miss their Holiday Art & Craft Market!) Southwood Books, and West Virginia Glass Outlet.
- Charles Town: Washington Street Gallery and Gift (an all-local gallery), Needful Things, and Three Points Cycle.
- Shepherdstown: Grapes & Grains Gourmet, The Now and Then Shop, and On the Wings of Dreams.
- Harpers Ferry: The Village Shop, The Outfitter General Store and Bike Shop, and Tenfold Fair Trade Collection.
- WInchester: White House Country Store, The Museum of Shenandoah Valley Museum Store, and Simply Charming Boutique.
Phew! Hopefully between your shopping trips you have an opportunity to enjoy some of the holiday-themed events in the area, decorate your home for Christmas, or just relax with your wine in your slippers. Guess what I’m going to do? Good luck, it’s a jungle out there, but you can do it! Get those Black Friday blowouts!