Surviving Black Friday

Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving – known as Black Friday – millions of Americans hit the malls and big retail outlets in search of holiday shopping bargains. This year, nearly 138 million shoppers are expected to swarm retail stores the day after Thanksgiving — most of them lined up and ready to storm the gates well before 3 a.m. This year, some stores plan to open at midnight, expecting the same long lines as in previous years. You can check out Black Friday ads and store opening times here. So, whether you are planning to join the early hordes of eager shoppers or just going to take advantage of the day’s bargains, here are some things you should consider before you venture out:

        • Be prepared to wait in line, maybe for hours before the store opens.
        • Brace yourself for disappointment; high-profile door-buster featured items are available in pitifully limited quantities.  And when they’re gone, they’re gone.
        • Look for a price guarantee. If something goes on sale right after you buy it, some retailers will refund the difference between what you paid and the sale price.
        • Read the ads. Check your local newspaper Thanksgiving day. Or preview the Black Friday sale circulars now at
        • Avoid the crowds by ordering online since some Black Friday deals may be available on Thanksgiving Day or Friday starting at midnight.
        • If you see any sort of mob behavior beginning to occur, withdraw and leave the area. It’s not worth getting trampled, hurt or even killed just to get a deal on something. (Believe it or not, this seems to happen every year.)

Look here for more Black Friday store hours and Early Bird Sales. And hey, let’s be careful out there.