When the morning after Thanksgiving arrives (or the day of with some sales), and you dare to venture out into what is known as Black Friday, I have a few tips that might help you survive the struggle.  I have done considerable research and I’ve come up with the top tips for helping shoppers brave the madness and actually be productive on Black Friday.

What are some of your best tips for surviving Black Friday? Leave a comment below!

1.  Make Your Shopping List Before You Head Out

This will keep you organized and keep you from getting distracted.  Write down all the people for whom you are buying presents.  Keep a checklist! Write down gift ideas and potential stores to buy these gifts.  You will be a disciplined shopper and get things done in much less time.  It will also feel good to get people’s presents marked off your checklist.  With any luck you will be done with your list on Black Friday!

2.  Check the Online Deals First

I find shopping online fun!  I think it’s spoiled me.  In any case, always check your favorite stores’ websites as well as places like Amazon.com which lists so many items that it’s impossible to count.  Honestly, I do most of my shopping online because that’s where the best deals are and Black Friday is no exception.  I do buy my clothes in department stores, but with a brand like Calvin Klein where I know my size and fit, I will order clothing from their online boutiques.  Don’t hesitate to shop online before braving the madness of the brick and mortar stores.

3.  Pick a Shopping Buddy Who Will Match Your Pace

Shopping is more fun with a friend!  Just make sure that you and your friend are in sync are far as schedules.  Do you like to hit the midnight sales or the early morning early bird specials?  Make sure that you are compatible on when you like to shop.  Shopping buddies are also great for helping you to stick to your list and budget.  They are also fun to get opinions on potential purchases!

4.  Bring Your Ads With You

If you have an email or newspaper advertisement for a particular item, be sure to bring it with you.  Items may not ring up as the advertised sale item when you check out so having your advertisement is good evidence of what was sent to the public.  It may go a long way in convincing the store to honor its advertisement.

5.  Be Prepared for Strict Return Policies

Returns policies seem to get tighter every year, and they can be worse for Black Friday. For some items, stores may have only a short return policy — and they may charge you a restocking fee.  If you are considering returning an item, especially a Black Friday item, do so as soon as possible to avoid any hassles.


I must admit, in recent memory, I’ve never skipped a Black Friday.  I absolutely love it!  However, for some people, it’s just not for them.  The crowds, the lines, the hassle.  It’s just not worth it.  If that’s the case, my survival advice is to skip it.  That’s right!  Avoid everything and just relax and savor Thanksgiving leftovers.  That sounds quite nice actually.