Surviving Black Friday

heres-what-not-to-buy-on-black-friday

Ah yes, Black Friday. The prime example of consumer greed and capitalism all bundled up in a pretty package of door-crashing deals and “Save! Save! Save!”‘s. The American one-upper of its Canadian equivalent of Boxing Day. The one day immediately after Thanksgiving, where Americans all across the United States give thanks for their early possessions, good health and family. And what’s a better way to show your humbleness than with a new Smart TV that was 45% off?

But hey, I’m not one to judge because some of these deals are fantastic. Many of the mega sales have trickled into Canadian stores and culture as Black Friday deals are plastered across every catalogue in the mail and online. And if this means we get both Black Friday AND Boxing Day… well, what can I say? I’m a broke college student that needs these deals.

If you’re one of those braving the cold and early hours to join the line of masses vying for the best deals, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you survive the day (weekend).

1. Dress comfortably (and warmly). London at 9am is cold. London at 12pm is cold. London at 3pm is cold. I’m just going to take a wild guess here, but London at 5am is probably really cold. If you’re lining up bright and early, it’s probably not the best idea to wear your favourite jeans with that lovely top. Dress for the occasion by wearing something you can move easily in, but can also be removed or put on if it gets too cold or warm. Instead of jeans, try leggings or sweatpants. Layer up with cardigans or sweaters. Finish it off with a jacket that’s light enough for you to carry around the store. Wear running shoes so you’ll be able to outrun the person in front of you for the best deals.

2. Water. Many people actually overlook this, but it’s important to remember to stay hydrated during the day. Waiting in line to buy an overpriced bottle of water cuts both into your time and wallet, so bring a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day.

3. Know what you want. How many times have you walked into a store searching for a deal, only to return empty-handed because you were too indecisive? I’ll admit, I’m definitely guilty of this because I can never make up my mind. Remember that while there are tons of sales all around you, you do have a limited amount of time and money. Try to make a list of what you want/need beforehand and decide on a budget. Be specific: instead of simply wanting shoes, decided what type of shoe you want whether it be winter boots, pumps, flats for work, or strappy sandals for the summer. Having an idea of what you want saves you time as you can tunnel-vision and pinpoint your exact goals.

4. Do your research. Most, if not all, retailers post their deals a day or two before Friday. Do your research so you have specific items in mind you’ll fight to the death for. Like the point above, this allows you to save time which will give you more time to browse items that caught your eye that might not have been on your list. Research also gives you an idea of how much money you’ll be spending.

5. Have fun. Most importantly, try to have fun. I know the goal is to snag the best deals, but it’s also an experience. If you’re going with friends, you’ll forever have this bonding moment together. If you’re going alone, you’ll have the expertise for next year to be an even better Black Friday shopper. At the end of the day, it’s important to be grateful for what you already have.

Hopefully these tips help you find the deal of your dreams this Friday. Remember: stay safe, stay warm and have fun! As for me, I won’t be braving the cold this year but I’ll be waiting for Cyber Monday instead.

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