Black Friday Survival Guide: Shop at Your Own Risk!

By: Toni Cunningham | November 15, 2012

Up until last year, I had never experienced the madness that is Black Friday firsthand. With trepidation, I decided to bite the bullet and test out the waters. Am I interested in going again this year? About as interested as I am in breathing underwater, so that’s a no.

While I am not planning on partaking this year, I observed enough last year to let you folks in on a few secrets about Black Friday. It’s a madhouse out there, and these are the only ways to ensure you make it out alive:

  • Make sure you carry a water bottle in your purse/man satchel. Last year, whilst standing in an overcrowded, overheated area with little oxygen and no seating, I almost passed out. Which would have been embarrassing, and people probably would have looted my items.
  • When you get in line, make sure you are in the correct line. I spent approximately 45 minutes waiting to purchase a stack of DVDs, only to realize an employee had ushered me into a line for picking up pre-ordered electronics only. D’oh.
  • Check to see what time the store actually opens for Black Friday. As I approached Target at 12:01 a.m., where there were about 50 people lined up outside, bundled up and reading “The Hunger Games,” some employees finally came outside and informed everyone that this particular Target was not participating until 5 a.m. Thanks for the advance notice!
  • Display common courtesy, and hope others do the same. If you are reaching for an item and someone else hip checks you out of the way to snag the last one first, refrain from going all “Mean Girls” on him or her. Remain civil, and karma will take care of the rest.
  • Be prepared. I’m not saying bring a tent and camp out for a day, because I actually find that ritual kind of disturbing. Organization is key. Make a prioritized list of all the items you want to buy, and you’ll (hopefully) make it out unscathed.

Alas, if you plan on waking up at 3 a.m. to score discounts on televisions and designer clothing, make sure you take my advice to heart.

Happy shopping!