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8 Black Friday Insider Tips You Need to Know

4:14 PM, Nov 28, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Do you know the secrets to shopping on Black Friday? We all know to get in line early and check out the flyers ahead of time, but do you REALLY know how to conquer the lines/sales/madness?

Here are a few insider secrets (from an anonymous Black Friday "shopping professional") to getting what you want and avoiding disappointment:

1. Set a budget -- It's easy to get caught up in all the good deals. There's a 47" TV for $274 or a tablet for $99. You might convince yourself that you NEED to buy them, but if you really think about it, you're only putting it in your cart because IT'S SUCH A GOOD DEAL! Don't fall into that trap. Decide what you want to buy ahead of time and don't spend (too much) more than that. Nothing is worse than getting that credit card statement in December and groaning at how much you spent.

2. Find a map -- Many chain stores, including Target and Wal-Mart, will put their big-ticket items in random spots throughout the store. You might find TVs in the food section and laptops in Lawn and Garden. It's all in an effort to avoid congestion in the Electronics department. Those same stores will post their maps online so you can see where employees will place those highly-coveted $169 TVs.

3. Don't use a cart -- If you plan to be a part of the Black Friday madness, using a cart will only slow you down. If you're looking for a big-screen TV or something else too big to carry, make sure you stake your claim before you grab a cart. Most aisles are only two carts wide. If you're carrying all of your purchases, you can easily weave through everyone else who decided to grab a cart. Avoiding the cart congestion can also keep you in a better mood while you're bargain hunting.

4. Don't wear a coat -- Wearing a coat to brave the elements outside will only drag you down inside. You'll end up carrying the coat (it'll just get in the way) or wearing it (waaaaay too warm for all the speed-walking you'll be doing.) Speaking of speed-walking...

5. Don't run -- You'll look like a crazy person if you run. Besides, no laptop (or Firby) is worth tripping and breaking your ankle.

6. Divide and conquer -- If there are items you really want at two different stores, split up. You might also ask your dad/husband/brother to pick something up. That might sound like an unreasonable request, but if it's an item they'll enjoy (TV, Xbox), they'll be more willing to go.

7. Have a getaway driver -- If you can't convince your dad/husband/brother to actually go INTO the store, maybe they'll be your driver? Parking is a pain anywhere on Black Friday. If you have a driver on stand-by, you won't have to hunt down a spot, and you'll be able to cover more territory! More stores = more gifts.

8. Have fun! -- There's nothing worse than equating shopping with working. You have the day off from work, so don't make it seem like you're working. Many families consider this a bonding experience.

OK, you've done your homework, now go! That line outside Target isn't getting any shorter.

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