I was there. I was there for what seemed like endless hours waiting in freezing weather. I was there as shoppers busted across doors as if their life depended on it. I was there painfully in need of sleep. And I loved every minute of it.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love shopping. And since Black Friday is the mother of all shopping days, it is also one of my favorite days of the year. Some people tell me I’m crazy, but I like being out in the stores at the wee hours of the morning, and I like the hustle and bustle of the holidays. And after many years at it, I’ve learned a few tricks on how to maximize on great Black Friday deals while eliminating Black Friday stress. Here’s my tips on how to make it happen:
- Make a list, and check it twice. Know which stores you want to go to, what time they open, and what you want from them BEFORE you go shopping. I actually make an Excel spreadsheet, but recognize that it might be a little over the top.
- Shop with a partner. Wear a distinct color so that they can easily find you in a crowd. One person stays in the checkout lane while the other shops. Then rotate.
- Be well fed. It may sound silly, but either make sure you are well-fed (but not food coma well-fed) or bring a snack. A short stop at Starbucks or Argo can easily turn into a half hour wait.
- Do not try on clothes. If you find something you like, buy it. If it doesn’t fit when you try it on at home, take it back when the stores aren’t so crowded.
- Plan your route. The nice thing about living in a Planned Property neighborhood is that our apartments are a hop and a skip from the best Chicago shopping. But if you are taking public transportation, make sure the El/bus route you need is up and running at the time that you want to go. Or, if you have a car, on this occasion driving is a plus. There are not many cars on the road, if shopping early, and having a trunk gives you somewhere to store your purchases.
- GET. THERE. EARLY. Be at the store you want to go to as close to opening time as possible. The later you go, the longer the lines.
Lastly, check online for information on what deals major retailers are offering, but with many boutiques the only way to find out is by phoning directly. Good luck on your Black Friday shopping, and here are a few of the the deals at some of my favorites in Planned Property neighborhoods:
- Express – Open @ 12am – 40% off the entire store until noon.
- Banana Republic – Open @ 12am – 40% off the entire store until noon.
- Akira – Open @ 6am – 30% off everything until noon.
- Topshop/Topman – Open @ 7am – Free gift with purchase.
- American Apparel – Open @ 5am – BOGO ½ off of any item of equal or lesser value