Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Black Friday Gameplan {Series} Day 5

Welcome back to the last day of my Black Friday Gameplan series!

Okay, you have done some research inside the stores to find out what your store will be doing on Black Friday.  You have also made your gift-giving list, explored other options--online and beyond--for saving on those gifts.  Finally, you have started your list of those items you want to purchase and track their prices to know what is a hot deal versus what is just Black Friday hype.  Today we are addressing two final things before the big day.

Set your budget and create your itinerary.

Now your budget for Black Friday is going to be very different than mine or anyone else's!  I have included a place on the Price Tracker download from Day 4 to include your budget (look at the bottom of the sheet!).  It will automatically deduct the price of your items from your set budget.  As you enter the price of each item you are purchasing, it will automatically deduct if from the overall budget amount at the bottom to give you a running total.  Pretty cool, huh?  Don't have the downloads from earlier this week?  Email me!  I will send them along!  You have to get moving on this!!  Remember my advice from Day 1?  PREPARATION IS KEY!

Now for creating your itinerary.
You have may have seen commercials or the online ad scans advertising the times each store will open.  Depending on what is on your gift list, and what store has the best price, you will need to create an itinerary for yourself so that you arrive at each store at the ideal time for you.  Some things to keep in mind as you create your itinerary:

Are you getting "Doorbuster" deals?  These are the "hot price" items from Day 4.  If so, you might want to plan accordingly and get there early to get in line.  

Will you have help?  Sometimes to get the best deals you can "station" people at certain locations in the store to grab your item as they are brought out. How will you know where the items will be located? Check out the store map!! 
(Thanks to a coupon class student for this tip!) 
Here are the maps I could find for 2011:

*Keep in mind these maps were designed to show you what section to look for.  Your store may be slightly different or a mirror image of the map.  Also, items may shift around as things sell out*

Now you are ready to make your itinerary!  Use my free printable to schedule yourself a Black Friday itinerary!  I have left room for you to list the items on your list for each store.
Armed with this, you should handle Black Friday like a pro! Email me and get your itinerary in your inbox today!

Here are some last tips before you walk out the door:
  • Check the weather!  It may be cold when you start out and warm up mid morning.  Dress in layers if necessary in order to shed as you go store-to-store.
  • Don't bring a full wallet/purse.  Black Friday is a thief's paradise.  Only bring what you need and keep it close at hand.
  • Beware of fake vouchers--alot of stores give out vouchers for top items so that people aren't just grabbing.  If you get the laptop, TV, iPod, etc...you will be given a voucher and (likely) taken to a different part of the store to pick it up to help ease traffic.  Beware if someone wants to "sell" you their voucher because they got it and no longer want it (I know someone that this happened to!).  It could be a fake!  I mean, really: why would you wait in line for 6 hours then sell the voucher for $75?  
  • Leave your kids at home. I know it's tempting to bring them to get extra vouchers, but really it could be dangerous.  I know you've seen it (at least on TV) where the doors open and people don't care who is in their way!  If they aren't at least 18 and 5' tall, leave them at home!
  • BE happy.  So you missed a deal?  Not worth being mean to store associates, other shoppers, or your shopping buddies over it!  After all, there is always next year!

And there you go!  You have a Black Friday Gameplan assembled and ready to shop!

What did you think of this series?  Was this helpful?  LET ME HEAR FROM YOU! 
{Yes, YOU--who reads my posts daily, but never comments--you know who you are!  ;-)}

I have NO IDEA what is helpful until you let me know!  I would love to do other series as well.
What would you like to see?