Planning. That is the key to Black Friday success. I've been there, done it, will share what works and what will leave you standing in a cold, crowded line. For anyone who doesn't know what Black Friday is (welcome to Earth, we are a friendly, fashionable planet ...), it's the day after Thanksgiving when the newspaper weighs approx. 47 lbs. due to the piles and piles of sale ads. It is traditionally the day that retailers pull out all stops to lure shoppers and ring in the holiday season. It is called Black because it is said that the sales from this one day will take retailer's yearly income from red (losing money) to black (making a profit.)
The hype is enormous, and justified. Discounts on this day are amazing with many retailers taking losses on certain items to get you spending in their stores. Know this: retailers are very, very savvy. Getting you to part with your hard-earned buck is an art form perfected. It is up to you, dear consumer, to educate yourself, arm yourself, steel yourself.
Technology has changed Black Friday. Old school Black Friday meant waiting until Thanksgiving morning to see the sale ads. Then, you hurriedly throw together some turkey-themed dinner while scouring the many ads, circling, cutting out, taking notes. It was exhilarating at best, haphazard at worst when waiting in a mile long line at Best Buy, you miss all of the sales at Target. Things have changed, friends. If you have never heard of this website, bookmark it now: bfads.net It's free, it's amazing.
Got it? Good. Now, subscribe to the email list. This wonderful fella called Michael will email updates when the sale ads are released. From Macys to CVS, any and all ads will be disclosed along with store opening times and restrictions.
Take a breath, step back and let's start planning. From a retailer's standpoint, the goal of this day is to create a frenzy. We spend in a frenzy. My goal is to turn out thoughtful, restrained, shoppers. I realize that thoughtful and restrained does not sound as fun but if you've ever gotten a giant credit card bill in January dripping with regret, frenzy fun is overrated.
This is a big topic and I have years and years of experience, good and bad, so I'll share chunks at a time. For today, if you will be doing any Black Friday shopping at all, subscribe to bfads.net (or another service if you have one) and start thinking about what you REALLY want to gift this year. More soon!