Advance planning reduces the stress of 'Black Friday' shopping

By DeeAnna Haney | Nov 22, 2011

Shopping on “Black Friday,” I have found, is not for the faint of heart. Three years ago, when I joined hundreds of other fine Haywood County residents at midnight in Walmart, I watched in horror as appliances and packages of bedding were tossed over my head and overflowing shopping carts threatened to flatten me to the ground.
I emerged from a throng of people at the $1 DVD box with an elbowed face and some minor scratches on my arm. I swore I would never do it again — but every year since I have found myself risking minor injuries and enduring crowds just to save some money.
For me, Black Friday all comes down to precise planning. Since it’s the biggest shopping day of the year, this is not a time to browse at your leisure.
Know what you want to buy before you arrive at the store — and get there at least an hour and a half early. Walmart offers a store specific online map that points out exactly where your item will be, which is important, since electronics are sometimes placed near the frozen food aisle.
Use the buddy system with one person standing in line to purchase the items and the other person on standby to pick you up at the door and move on to the next store. I’ve even seen people walking around the store communicating with walkie talkies.
Check around online for any manufacturers coupons you can apply to your purchase and always compare prices. Some stores may have better deals on their website.
The most important thing to remember is to be courteous to the employees and other shoppers and always keep a sense of humor. It is, after all, in the name of the holiday season.

DeeAnna Haney is a staff writer for the Mountaineer.

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