questionsany advice for a first time black fridayer?


Don't. It's seriously not worth it. If you must, take snacks and something to kill time while you wait. When the doors open, act like you have been there before. It's not anything worth going to jail over.


The one time I did a midnight black friday event, it was at Toys R Us. It was so crazy because people were pushing and cutting in line to get into the store. Only advice I can give is dress warm and be prepared to be pushed out of the way by the other "merry shoppers" that want to get to that deal that they want so badly.


Have a good attitude. Black Friday shopping used to be tradition for me, and it seemed like most of the shoppers were in good spirits and shared a sense of camaraderie. It really was fun. Then about 10-12 years the overall attitude seemed to start changing. It seemed like people stopped enjoying the event and started to be competitive and rude. I finally gave up about 6 years ago.


Keep your head down and your elbows close in. Oh, and steel toed shoes.


I second the don't do it, most places end up having the same deals for the next week anyways...


I go every year with my friend just to experience the horrible things people will do to save a buck. Last year we were standing in line at Target for a couple hours (The line stretch all the way from Target past PetSmart past two food stores and then ended at Lowe's. It was a long line) and if anyone would try to sneak into the line, everyone would start yelling at them to "Go to Lowe's!" My friend and I were joking about how it sounded like they were telling them to "Go to hell". Now we always say "Go to Lowe's!" when we're mad.


Stay home and shop online.


I did it once a few years ago. I waited out for about 5 hours in the cold to get a GPS at Best Buy for my son. Got sick as a result. Then Walmart had it cheaper a week later. Swore never to do it again.


Dress in layers (to adjust with temp) because with the amount of people cramming in the store, it's going to get HOT, be patient, avoid using a shopping cart if possible as maneuvering with one at around midnight is very difficult, and be very aware of your surroundings (stampedes, fights over items, ect)
You should also have a plan of what items you're looking for and where they are in the store (ex. Walmart likes to spread things throughout the store regardless of department), and if the deals are at any other stores. Don't forget to check online ones like Amazon so if you aren't able to get what you are looking for in the mad rush at the physical stores you can just stay up late until midnight (pacific time) and more than likely get what you're looking for and have a more peaceful experience
Stay safe and good luck!


@djp519: Good advice, this. Go to every store's site you'd planned to shop at and see if they don't already have their BF ad posted, then see if said product is available at that price Friday online. A LOT will be, and depending on what you plan to spend, cheap or free shipping.
If you do decide to get out, stay hydrated, urinate often(legally, if possible), and watch for thieves- both at your car and in your pocket.


>> Massachusetts has blue laws, meaning things can't open until midnight

Massachusetts has the right idea, and is doing the right thing for the state's retail employees. Stay home, digest your turkey and pie, relax and enjoy your family and friends. Shopping can wait.


Come to New Hampshire, spend in our tax free stores and then go home.
I mean that in a friendly way that NH - MA residents would understand. No advice other that, sorry. I'll be at the northern end of the state so I probably won't be able to say hi.


Yeah the only reason to stand in line is for the items marked "doorbuster" and those ones you pretty much have to be the first 3 people in line anyway. The games, movies, clothes, shoes, they will ALL still be there after you wake up at a normal time and go shopping on black friday. And you will still get the experience of the craziness because it lasts all day. The lines at Best Buy weave throughout the store for example. Don't go so early. Stay in your state.


If you are going that late, dont expect any big ticket items or major door busters. I normally try to get there 6-8 hours before the store opens, and there have been times where I still did not get what I went for. Keep warm, bring a lawn chair and some blankets. If you happen to have a propane heater, bring it.


My advise is NOT to show up too early. That part is definitely not worth it. Limited availability doorbusters are not worth your time. Show up maybe 30 minutes before start time, be cool, SMILE at people around you to remind them you're just regular people doing something a bit crazy, and prioritize what you're getting. Other than that, just stay calm and don't worry about it. Last year I went to Wal-Mart at 930 for the 10PM opening. There was NO PARKING. The people were a crazy mass of incredible density. And I got Every. Single. Thing. That I wanted.

So don't spend too much time waiting, be nice and casual with strangers (who may also HELP you get something, like a game in a case or a specific toy or clothing item you may be too far back to reach), and take the crazy in stride.


Bring a knife and don't hold back on that urge to stab people.
I kid.


If you go to a store in a more rural area rather than a larger town, you will most likely have better luck. I go Black Friday shopping up in State College, PA - not quite as many stores, but way less people. I definitely recommend packing snacks and if you have to wait outside, handwarmers. Download a new book and/or game on your phone to keep you entertained while you wait, as well as a good playlist to help you keep your sanity. The more people you have the better to help split up the store and it is more fun.

Definitely go for the adventure - if you are after more than 1 particular major door buster you will likely go home disappointed or you may have a miserable time getting it. Check all your prices ahead of time, plan your visits. As many people have said, many prices can be beat online.

Keep your coupons etc organized. Seems like maybe less this year, but I always use a ziploc and have duplicates.


Black Friday is a lose-lose situation now. The customer loses because they get their hearts set on something that will be sold out before they get in the door - and they are risking physical injury in the process. The store employees lose because they had to leave thanksgiving early to go to their underpaid positions and deal with angry customers.

Really, can you find anything in a Black Friday ad that is really worth this much effort? I haven't seen anything meeting that criteria in many many years. You should look at the ads thinking "I want X" rather than "what do they have that I might want", and most likely you'll find that what you want isn't a Black Friday deal any ways.

Do the civilized thing and wait for cyber Monday.


Good plan. Divide and concur. Don't worry about all of these negative comments. Black Friday is fun, and yes probably not worth it for one or two items, but worth it for a variety of goodies. Plus, going with a group like that will be fun. Might as well do something different that night than sit on the couch and watch TV like lots of others will be doing.
Enjoy it! It only happens once a year anyway. If it turns out to not be your thing, don't do it again.


I find a good plan involves a good route. Don't go criss-crossing around town, but go as directly as possibly from shopping center to shopping center. Also, keep your wits about you. Keep a good attitude. Believe me, I had crowds of consumers and traffic, but on Black Friday I realize everyone is there for deals, and the crowds/traffic are just part of it.

If you have a good attitude, and you have a good route... it can be a lot of fun :-)


I'll tell you my mom's secret. Last year she went to Kohls to buy some pillows and the checkout line wrapped all the way around the store. She went to the jewelry counter and ask if she could checkout there and they said you had to be purchasing jewelry. She bought a $20 piece of jewelry, checkout hours sooner than everyone else who were waiting in line, and then went to the service counter and immediately returned it. I was majorly impressed with my mom's craftiness.


my advice is skip black friday, and just do cyber monday or whatever its called. better deals and you can do it from the comfort of your own home


We went to Kohl's last year right as they opened (midnight?). The checkout line wrapped around the store, so we just walked around the store, picked out stuff that we liked, and purchased it right then and there on my phone. Our friend that manages the store said that about 6-7am, all of the customers had left, they were able to re-stock everything (including doorbusters), and went about their day like it was any other Friday.


Just one or two hours before opening isn't worth it. Any deal items that are in limited supply will be gone. Some stores will hand out vouchers to the people in line and when they run out of vouchers for the amount of inventory they have, anyone further back in line is out of luck. I was in spot 3 looking for a TV and a guy in spot 25 paid me 20 bucks to get a voucher for a laptop that was only guaranteed to have 20 in stock.

I have seen where WalMart was open, but the door busters were on palettes wrapped in plastic. People were gathered around it like a scared relic keeping at least one hand on it to assure their spot.

The Best Buy near my house usually has people set up tents the day before.


Depending on how many people are at each store, stage one person at the checkout. They can graciously allow a few people to go before them, until you let them know you got what you needed. Then they jump in line with a pack of gum or something and just wait for you to come hand them the precious items. Might tick some people off, but, hey, you get out of there a few hours sooner!