Strategies to survive (and win) on Black Friday

Let's get real: Black Friday shopping is intense. Here's how to navigate the one-day-sale bonanza.


Photo, Masterfile


Tip 1: Get Prepped
Sometimes you can head to a store and the perfect fill-in-the-blank item will effortlessly swoop into your arms. This is not it. The reality of shopping on Black Friday is much less romantic, and you need to know what you’re looking for in order to survive the crowds and chaos. Take the time to assess the current state of your closet and identify what’s missing or needs an update. Have a solid sense of what you’re shopping for before you do anything else. Next, head to the shopping websites of your favourite brands and boutiques to get a preview of what’s available to start filling in the blanks and compiling a list of options.

Tip 2: Do the Math
In an ideal world you would shop to your heart’s content, and your wallet would keep pace like it ain’t no thang. In reality, you have a finite amount of cash to work with on any given day and Black Friday is no exception. Let’s also acknowledge that, fun fact, the holidays are now a month away! A budget is crucial. For a successful Black Friday experience with no financial regrets it’s important to get real with how much you can afford to spend. Then, commit to sticking to that number – no matter what. Trust that the sting of leaving behind something that seems a must-buy in the moment will be lessened once your credit card bill arrives next month.

Tip 3: Gear Up
Dress for success: let comfort and ease be your guiding principles. Choose chic sneakers to stay mobile in the midst of sprawling crowds and endure long checkout lines. Bring a messenger bag or compact backpack to stay hands-free. Keep your cool by leaving bulky layers at home or in the car. If you know you’re going to be trying on a lot of garments simplify your shopping day outfit with pieces that you can strip on and off quickly. Or wear a fitted look (hello leggings!) that allows you to throw something on over top to reduce change room visits. And don’t forget to pack snacks and water! Maintain energy, good decision making, and an upbeat mood by having portable nibbles like a protein bar, nuts or apple on hand.

Tip 4: Use the Buddy System
Black Friday shopping can be made more bearable with a friend. Beyond the trusted second opinion, you can gain eyes on the ground by exchanging lists and staying on the lookout for each other’s items. A shopping buddy can encourage you to stick to your budget. They can also remind you to double check a stores return/exchange policy or to get a gift receipt for anything you’re picking up as a present. And a really good friend will make sure you don’t miss out on that other day of deals: Cyber Monday.

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