Black Friday is the day every holiday shopper can usually find great bargains. Planning the shopping trip involves more than making a shopping list. Shoppers should also plan their driving route and itinerary for the day and determine how they will pay. Taking an organized approached makes Black Friday shopping less of a headache and allows shoppers to get all the deals.
Step 1: Make an itinerary for the day based on the time each store opens and when will offer the deals you want. Save gas by planning to visit nearby stores one after another, whenever possible. Unless one mall store will have an item on sale much later in the day, it makes sense to visit all stores in the mall during the same trip.
Step 2: Plan for traffic and long lines at stores. There will be plenty of other Black Friday shoppers. Plot several alternate routes each destination. If you have a GPS, use it! If any of the hot doorbusters are on the shopping list, plan to arrive at the store hours before other customers.
Step 3: Pack the car with additional layers of warm clothing, a raincoat, umbrella, portable chair, and some entertainment for the waits in line such as an MP3 or portable DVD player.
Step 4: Look for retailer coupons for an even lower price on desired items or a percentage off the entire purchase. Review the circulars, Web sites, and social networking sites for each store on the shopping list and cut out or print the applicable coupons.
Step 5: If you can shop responsibly, pay for Black Friday purchases with a credit card. This provides price and purchase protection and streamlines returns. Customers with cash back or rewards cards can rack up the benefits while they shop. Review the terms of the credit card account before heading out to shop, if necessary.