If you can do all of your holiday shopping online, of course you would. Who wants to battle it out with other customers and stand in long lines after gorging yourself on Thanksgiving dinner? Then again, there are some great deals available if you’re willing to journey out to the retail jungle to traverse the wild, battle it out, and find your treasure. Along the way, here are 6 tips to help you avoid the big crowds on Black Friday:
Turn to Google A few years back, Google tracked the movements of Smartphone users to learn more about their shopping patterns. They found that the heaviest traffic on Black Friday is from 2 – 4 PM. On the other hand, the slowest time is from 2 AM – 6 AM with 5 AM having the lowest traffic times of all. You can check Google to find out the specifics for the store that you want to visit, so you can miss some of the big crowds.
Plan Your Itinerary Go through the ads and determine where you want to go and what you want to purchase there. Make a plan. When will you go to each store? How long will you be there? Budget extra time for each one, because you never know what will hold you up along the way.
Avoid Electronic Stores As Google tracked shopping patterns, they found that the biggest crowds can be found at electronic stores. As people look for the best deals on televisions, gaming systems, cellphones, and other electronics, these stores tend to get very busy. If you want to avoid crowds, it would be best to keep these types of stores off your itinerary and check online options instead.
Divide and Conquer Bring along a friend to help you navigate the chaos. You could determine which items each of you will grab, so you can get through the store as quickly as possible. It helps to find someone who is looking for similar items as you, but it could be fun to shop with a buddy no matter what.
Forget the Cart With the crowds, it’s best to forget the cart and navigate the store with a store bag or basket. This will help you weave in and out of the aisles and through the groups of stuck carts. So, unless you need a large item that requires a cart, skip past the carts and make a mad dash for the items you want.
Check Availability Online Before you head to the store, you may be able to check if an item is even available there. Go online to find out if the store carries that particular item. Depending on the site, it might tell you how many they have in stock. Then, you can determine whether or not the trip will be worth it for you. If there are only a few of that item left, it might be best to try another store or research the store’s raincheck policy first.
Shopping on Black Friday can save you a lot of money, but it’s important to shop smart. By following these tips, you can try to avoid big lines to find what you need as quickly as possible.
Good luck, and happy shopping!