As I was driving into work this morning the Morning Show hosts were discussing Black Friday sales on the radio. It looks like the Retailers are eager to lure in shoppers this year and many of them are opening on Thanksgiving day to do it. Bargains will be plentiful for those brave enough to head out into the crowds to find them.
Black Friday bargains can be hard to beat, but they can also be hard to nab. The true “door buster” items are usually very limited in quantity and typically sell out within seconds or minutes.
Last year, I stood in line in the electronics department for over 30 minutes at Walmart trying to get a Rock Band Wii game and instrument set. The employees kept telling me that there were more in the back and someone would be bringing them out soon. Turns out they had sold out within 3 minutes because they only had 10 of them and the employees were too frazzled to figure it out. I knew that $75 price was too good to be true when everyone else was selling them for double that amount. I ended up finding a great deal on the system on Craigslist used and my kids were thrilled – for about a month. The drums and guitar have been sitting in my garage since then.
It’s easy to lose focus when faced with a store full of seemingly amazing prices. So what’s a bargain shopper to do? I know that I have fallen prey on more than one occasion to the lure of a “great buy” on Black Friday, only to be surprised later on to find that item for the same amount or even less. I’m also the first to admit that when I am sleep-deprived and I got up at 3am to stand in line in the cold with hundreds of other people looking to get their hands on the same 20 flat screen TV’s advertised at a ridiculous low price, I’m probably not going to be thinking clearly.
The solution I’m implementing this year is a list. I know, it sounds cheesy and too simplistic, but I think it just might work. I’m planning on going through all the ads put out prior to Thanksgiving for the couple of stores I plan to visit. This will allow me to strategically decide what items I want to target and what items aren’t worth the effort.
I plan to go into the stores armed with a list and if it didn’t make the cut to go on the list…I’m going to just say “NO!” and move on. Will this be easy? I don’t think so. Then again, it may save me from buying the adorable fuzzy Eeyore jammie pants for only $5 that turns out not only don’t fit, but are actually so “cozy” that they make me feel like I’m sleeping in a furnace. Hypothetically speaking of course!