Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. With all of the sales that are being advertised, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of some of the items that are being offered? When shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, please remember to shop smart and proceed with caution. I have been going to the sales for over nine years now and I have a few tips from my experience that I’d like to share with you. That way you can go in with a game plan, a level head and not risk the chance of being taken advantage of.

  • TIP 01.
    If you can, shop with a friend. Even though Black Friday is a good day to catch sales there are also people who go to the sales for other reasons. I have seen so many women leave the stores in tears because money was taken out of their wallet, or their entire purse was stolen without their knowledge. By shopping with a friend you can look after each other and make sure that neither one of you are taken advantage of.
  • TIP 02.
    If you do not have someone you can shop with, then safeguard your wallet. Carry a purse with a strap, but don’t just drape it over your shoulder. Use the crisscross method. Put the strap around your neck and then put your arm through it. That way the strap is going diagonally across your chest making it harder for someone to snatch your purse without your knowledge. Also, make sure your purse zips all of the way up. Even though your purse is a little more secure by being draped across your chest, if it isn’t zipped up someone could still reach inside of it and take out your wallet or your money.
  • TIP 03.
    Make sure you have a plan of action.
    Know exactly what you want out of every store you will be going to that day. Make a list and stick to it. If you linger up and down the aisles you are more likely to make impulse buys.
  • TIP 04.
    If at all possible use cash instead of credit cards or checks.
    For one, it will stop you from purchasing extra items that you cannot afford. Second, it prevents someone from stealing them and purchasing items on your account. Trying to cancel credit cards or deal with stolen checks on your account during the holidays can be a hassle. It is even more frustrating around holidays when the rate of stolen credit information increases substantially. By taking the steps to prevent having your information stolen in the first place, you are protecting yourself in the long run.
  • TIP 05.
    After you are done checking out at the cash register, put your receipt and your change in your purse and take out your keys.
    You don’t want to walk out to your car with a cart or a hand full of packages, only to have to fumble around for your keys. On Black Friday stores open up at 5am to start their sales. In most areas it is still dark outside around this time. Minimize your potential to be a target and get in your car as fast as possible.
  • TIP 06.
    Keep your receipts.
    At the end of your shopping adventure double check over all of your purchases. Chances are you made a few impulse buys and now you’re thinking that those hot pink feathered shoes really aren’t as cute as you thought they were. (Don’t ask, it happens.) With a receipt you are allowed to return most of your purchases for a full cash refund.
  • TIP 07.
    If you are going to a store that does price matching, try to consolidate most of your shopping purchases into as few stores as possible.
    Take advantage of the Wal-Mart or Target price matching policies and bring competitor sales ads to these stores with you. That way you will be able to get more items in as few trips as possible. Not only will this save you gas, and time but it also alleviates your chance of being a target for a thief.

These are a few of the tips that I have to offer to make your after Thanksgiving shopping trip a little more organized and a little less stressful. The most important thing to remember is to be safe, have fun and spend wisely.

Do you have any Black Friday sales tips to share?

NOTE: This post was pulled from the Penny Pinching Diva archives and has been updated with a few new tips. The original post was published on November 24th, 2008. This current posting is updated with a little more “flavor” and a lot more information. Please enjoy.

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  1. Happy Thanksgiving and be blessed.

  2. I am not going shopping in the morning. I hate shopping on a normal day… Black Friday is a lion fight and I always feel like the prey LOL! These are really great tips though 🙂 Shoot, most of them I need to keep in mind EVERY day haha! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I didn’t go out this year but I have for the past 11 years and those are great tips. Each year, as the Black Friday craziness grows (I swear years ago, there weren’t as many people out and about and getting all crazy)
    Last year, I didn’t take a purse with me. I wore a coat with zipper pockets and a pocket on the inside. I carried just my ID, debit card and keys with me. I was much lighter on my feet to get to the sales (haha) and I didn’t run the risk of having my wallet or purse stolen. If you can, I highly recommend not carrying a purse at all!

  4. Whew…just reading through those tips made me tired. I don’t go out on Black Friday, I think working in retail ruined it for me. But I hear some people got trampled at a Target in Buffalo, New York. Way too crazy for me…I don’t have that kind of patience 🙂

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