Five Tips for Surviving Black Friday

Black Friday shopping might read ‘crazy’ to some folks, but to a budget fashionista it reads ‘dedicated.’ The madness that is the Friday after Thanksgiving, is steadily creeping up on us and if you’re planning to venture out, you’ll need to be at the top of your game. The overnight sales, door busters and all-day affair is as enticing as it is intimidating, so here are 5 tips to crossing everyone off your list and securing a piece (or 3) for yourself while you’re at it.

Do a little research, and by little, we mean a lot. (See: Tips for Finding Black Friday Deals). Know what stores are a must-hit for items for you, your friends, and family. Find out what time of the day is best to drop in at that store, according to power hours and your own shopping efficiency. Getting the best deals and best merchandise isn’t just about sprinting through doors or being the first one there, it takes some serious sit-down time to map out and schedule your success. P to the S, don’t forget about lunch and breaks, you’ll need the sustenance.

It’s equally as important to know your stores as it is to know your recipient list. The down side of scoring a great deal is the possibility of being locked into some kind of final sale. Look into store return or exchange policies ahead of time so you don’t get stuck with leftover merchandise that may not work out in the end. Having sizing and favorite color information on hand for your gift recipients is a good idea, but if you’re iffy, go with the buy now, exchange later method, given a store with policies to do so.

Let’s be honest, top merchandise whether quality or price-wise, does go fast. If the store is out of what you need by the time you get there, have alternatives lined up so you don’t stress yourself out and come back with nothing. Substitute items should be planned in advance during the researching process. It’s also smart to find deals on items that could be gifted to a variety of sources. Accessories, make-up or travel bags, and beauty products are all generally inexpensive and can be substituted for specific items on your list that you weren’t able to snag.

By all means, if you’ve had some things on your own shopping list for weeks, and you have yet to come across the right item or pricing, pick it up during the madness, if it’s available. But do not, we repeat, do not, buy just to buy. This is a surefire recipe for buyer’s remorse, and an easy way to get into a terrible habit anytime sales roll around. Stick to the items you need, and have BUDGETED for. Check items off your list as you come across them, and if you find others that suit your fancy, substitute as suggested above. Add-ons can add up quick.

Perfect for #hautegeeks and lazy bones alike, Cyber Monday has become a favored shopping method of budget fashionistas. A back-up plan for those who missed items during the retail madness, or a preferred avenue for the tech savvy, don’t forget to save some of that hard earned holiday cash to hit the web. Cyber Monday should always round out your Thanksgiving weekend shopping, where deals flow directly to your inbox and you rarely have to pay for shipping.

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