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Tales from a Black Friday Shopper


If you ever want to see how people are going to act in the apocalypse, go Black Friday shopping. The notorious after-Thanksgiving sale day is when stores chop prices, enticing potential customers for clothing and toys galore. When else are you going to see grandmothers fight a grown man for a $15 blender? When else do people line up outside Target and Walmart for hours and sprint into the store like they’re participating in a marathon? The answer is (hopefully) never.

 I have to admit that I don’t really suffer through a night of sleeplessness for the shopping. My first year out I just bought socks from Bath & Body Works. No, the main reason I head out at an ungodly hour is just to see the world in utter chaos. I’ve seen people rush into a store, grab a shopping cart and tear through the aisles like they’re on “Supermarket Sweep.” (To combat this, stores try to make people follow a certain route but Black Friday shoppers are often rule breakers.) I’ve also seen people use their small children to climb through people’s legs and grab movies. People have even been removed from the store for cutting lines. Black Friday is some serious stuff.

For those of you more interested in the shopping aspect of Black Friday, you have a few options:

1.      Completely dedicate yourself to Black Friday: This involves combing over the sales ads that usually come in the newspaper or appear online a day or two before Black Friday. You need to find the best deals from the stores, what time the store opens and get a game plan ready with whoever you’re bringing. If you want a hot ticket item like a TV or iPod, you need to be in line very early. Speaking of waiting in line, make sure you dress warmly. You will most likely be lining up outside of store at least an hour before it opens and the chilly late November temperatures are not for the faint of heart.

2.      Make a Black Friday appearance later in the day: You will probably want to get up a little earlier than usual- think maybe 8 or 9 A.M. and head to the stores. Some of the early bird specials may be over, but there will still be some good deals. Best of all, most of the crazy Black Friday shoppers will be gone already. When you arrive at the store of your choice, it may be a mess and the shelves may be empty, especially near the electronics section. Remember, utter chaos just occurred there hours before. It takes a while to clean up from that.

3.      Online Shop: For those of you that do not want to deal with people in the flesh, Cyber Monday is for you. Online stores will have “Black Friday”-esque deals the Monday after Thanksgiving, so you can virtually fight over that blender with a businesswoman from Texas. While I’ve never actually done this before, some common tips I’ve heard are putting the things you want in your shopping cart early. Then on Monday at midnight (or whatever times the sales start), you can head to the website and check out right away. This also lowers the risk of things being sold out right as you go to check out.

If you decide to brave the crowds this year, good luck and be safe! We’ve all heard the horror stories of people being trampled and killed on Black Friday. Don’t be one of those people. Just remember that there will be similar sales later in December, so if those incredibly cute $5 pajamas are sold out now… you can buy them in a few weeks for $8.

Also, I’d like to give a big shout-out to the poor employees that are forced to work on this unofficial “holiday.” While I may find entertainment in this, you all deserve awards for putting up with so much without any sleep. 

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