Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)


Black Friday Shopping: What's In, What's Out

Maybe one day I'll do a black Friday, but for now I just don't have the drive or care so much. But here are some great tips for you my readers who care deeply.

Recent news headlines suggest Black Friday is quickly morphing into Gray Thursday as big retailers one-up each other's hours. Walmart is the most recent example,  announcing it will open its doors at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, shortly after Sears made the same proclamation.

Black Friday has reached an almost celebrity-like status over the years, with enough buzz, chaos and excitement to rival the latest Hollywood scandal. It's only appropriate, then, to take a "what's in, what's out" approach to the trendiest shopping strategies for the most notorious shopping day of the year.

IN: Shopping online. Last year,  70 percent of doorbuster deals were available online, according to DealNews.

OUT: Pre-dawn shopping. Frostbite, runny noses and sleepless nights are for amateurs. In addition evening store openings on Thanksgiving, the Internet will help you avoid the harsh, early-morning elements.

IN: Crowd control. Target stores tested a stampede-mitigating strategy last year, allowing only a certain number of people across the threshold at a time. Expect more of the same this year.

OUT: Mob mayhem. Trampling and blunt-force trauma are so two years ago. If you want to relive the magic, check out  this video for a montage of Black Friday chaos.

IN: Knowing the best time to buy. Who knew Black Friday doesn't actually offer the best prices of the year? knows the right times to shop, and you can too with their app.

OUT: Falling for faux deals. News flash: Retailers can't actually afford deep discounts on all of their merchandise, but they can inflate original prices to make it seem like you're getting a steal.

IN: Using a mobile device. Mobile shopping is all the rage this holiday season, as savvy consumers use devices to shop, save and keep track of their budgets. Download digital helpers like the Coupon Sherpa mobile app to save even more on Black Friday.

OUT: Relying on print circulars or in-store ads. Retailers are increasingly using social media and mobile tools to communicate with their patrons. You're missing out if you're not plugged-in to Facebook and Twitter.

IN: Being thankful. Since most stores will open their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving, it's only fitting you be thankful to all the patient people working the sales floor on Black Friday.

OUT: Behaving badly. Yelling at salespeople, elbowing fellow shoppers and generally creating a scene will definitely land you on Santa's naughty list.

IN: Sticking to your list. Doorbuster deals are loss leaders, getting you in the store at ungodly hours with the promise of killer deals. Stick to your list to avoid going over-budget.

OUT: Getting greedy. Buying a bunch of useless stuff because it was "such a good deal" is not only out, it's unwise.

IN: Locating your car in seconds. It's tough to remember where you parked when you arrived foggy-headed in the wee hours of the morning. Luckily,  there's an app for that. Getting out of the parking lot, however, is all on you.

OUT: Failing to find your car. Endlessly roaming the parking lot rows in the bitter cold is more than uncool, it's irresponsible. Didn't you know there's an app for that? 

Photo Credit: Justin Marty

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.
For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balance the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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  1. I've only done the Black Friday shopping thing twice in the past (not for lack of wanting to though) and it's been....interesting.

    These are all great tips to surviving the holiday! Some are pretty common sense, but others like the ones with the resources I definitely must check out :)

  2. I wonder if crowds were getting less every year and they had to appeal more to the rest of us who don't want to get up and go anywhere!


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