Be Prepared For Black Friday

Before embarking on America’s asinine adventure in mob consumerism this Friday, use the checklist inside to make sure you’re ready. We’ve got:

• Price Matching Policies
• Store Hours
• Easy shopping list compiler.
• Common sense advice you’ll smack yourself for forgetting
• And more.

The madness, the glory, the Black Friday checklist, inside…


  Print out store price matching policies : Many retailers offer price matching, which can cut down on the number of stops you need to make. Keep a copy of these guidelines on hand if a store employee gives you static.
Circuit City’s “Price Protection & Price Guarantee”
Best Buy’s Price Guarantee (price matching voids rebates!)
CompUSA’s Low Price Guarantee
Sears Price Matching Plus Policy
Staples’ Price-Match Policy

 Write down what you’re buying in advance : Bfads even offers you a shopping list feature for compiling your items.

 Keep a copy of the real-world Black Friday print circulars: If you’re pricematching, you’ll have a harder time wielding a computer printout.

 Know the Store Hours! : Find out which stores are running “Early Bird”, or “Door Buster” promotions, and when their Black Friday sales officially start. Check this list of Black Friday store opening hours.

  Reality Check : Research the web first to make sure going to the store is really a good deal.

 Read the fine print : Look out for asterisks,
rebates, or other hidden agendas impeding you from receiving the listed price.

Be sure to check out our post on the Best Black Friday deals, a nifty trick for skipping Black Friday lines, and surviving the wait outside the store. — BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. saintjohnson says:

    BF Rules:
    1. Use the buddy system. Cellphones are useful, but walkie talkies are better since you have your own little system. You’d be surprised how a cellphone system can get bogged down on Friday morning.

    2. BF Clothes should be loose…not too tight, comfortable and durable. I suggest jeans and tennis shoes or old Timberlands (i.e. a boot broken in). You’ll need the comfort and flexibility for long lines and running, and the durability for that snag on a shelf or unlikely tear caused by packaging.

    3. Do your homework. Research your prices online now if you haven’t already for the items you really want. Don’t fall into the trap of shopping off of reflexes also called “Impulse Buy”. Do you really need a breadmaker? No, you don’t. You haven’t a sandwich since McDonalds’ started serving Wraps. So does it matter that it costs $5???? No, it doesn’t. Leave it.

    4. Drive according to your list. Nothing against a Civic or Porsche, but can you really fit a 26″ LCD HDTV, shopping partner, and God knows what in the back of that with that other stuff??? Maybe, but you’re better off taking your Dad’s SUV, truck, or Cadillac.

    5. Make a Plan of Attack. If your items are at Staples, Best Buy, and Circuit City, stay your butt out of the Mall !!!! Read number 3 again. The mall stores may have some deals, but they’re usually gleaning off of Sears, JCPenney’s and other stores that have REAL BF sales, then the other shops in the Mall post signs that say “SALE” but they’re the same prices from last week.

    6. EXECUTE!!!! The best coach in the world can have a losing season if his players don’t execute properly. You may not have a buddy to shop with. You may feel comfortable to shop in silk and houseshoes. But without #3 and #5, you might drop the ball. So checkout your items of interest tonight online and research their prices, competition, and models. By Friday, you shall be ready, Young Padwan.

    Now go and spree.

  2. saint: Have you really used walkie talkies? :P

    What does that go like? “Echo team! We got Tickle Me Elmos Xtreme on aisle three! Over!”

    “Bravo team, take the flank and proceed with a cover of suppressive fire. George Foreman’s can be used as a flak shield if need be. Over.”

    “Echo team we’ve got insurgents! We’re being overrun!”

  3. viewtiful says:

    Pirce matching eh? Maybe this poster could use a pocket dictionary for Xmas this year =)

  4. saintjohnson says:

    If you’d like to use SOCOM-speak… yes, that’s what you need to do. You’d be surprised the effort you save by using the tools already at your disposal.

    (Flashback)
    I remember the Tickle Me Elmo Invasion of ’96. It was disastrous. I fought for the other side then…at a Toys ‘R Us. It was ugly. Yes, my friend, we lost alot of good men that day.

    We lost some in action…some just caved in to the pressure of trying to be in two places at once and gave up…like poor Raymond.

    But when the dust settled, I was standing… on my own and unafraid. I was rewarded for my efforts. But what about Raymond’s???

    If we had walkie talkies then, Raymond might’ve posted before you to agree with the useful possibilities of a walkie-talkie come this Friday. But he couldn’t, because he didn’t have a walkie talkie.

    The walkie-talkie saves time. It could’ve saved Raymond’s.

  5. modestmac says:

    For anyone wondering about Best Buy

    Price Matching-nothing in “door busters” category, and the store (who advertises it) must have it in stock, they will call.

    Lists- they actually will provide them! They call it WOW (?). The purpose is to give it to family members and take it in. If there are brands, they aren’t supposed to deviate to change your mind.

    I didn’t find the warranty void thing above, from what I know it doesn’t, but it can get sticky when trying to match rebates and installs.

    Price wise, most of the big items actually lose money for the company from what I’ve researched, but the higher end products seem to have better deals.

  6. definitely go with the buddy system if you want to make more than a single stop that day. have one person get in the checkout line once the doors open, the other can take the cart and get the items quickly. i got to a fry’s a couple years ago just after opening, and the checkout line wrapped around the entire inside of the store. walked right back out.

  7. dotyoureyes says:

    Question — it looks to me like I could go to Best Buy on Wednesday, buy the 32″ LCD I’m dying for at full price, then go back during early-bird hours on Friday and get it price-matched to the early-bird price, right?

    Here’s the pertinent text from Best Buy’s policy (emphasis mine):

    What if I find a lower price at another Best Buy store or on BestBuy.com?
    If an item you purchased at Best Buy is advertised at a lower price at another Best Buy store in your local area or on BestBuy.com within 30 days of your original receipt purchase (14 days for select categories*), we will refund you 100% of the price difference. Simply bring in your original Best Buy receipt to the customer service counter while that lower price is still in effect. Clearance items, open-box items or Web-exclusive offers advertised on BestBuy.com are not eligible for price matching.

    Does anyone see any reason why this WOULDN’T work? At worst, you could return the TV, then re-purchase it at the early-bird price, right?

  8. dotyoureyes: What you’re talking about is a fairly common practice but the chance of it working on actual “Black Friday” are limited. I think you’ll get static. Note the part that says “While that lower price is still in effect”

  9. Ben Popken says:

    Tim writes:

    “Someone was planning on buying one of the Best Buy Westinghouse 32″ TV’s Wed then coming back Friday with the receipt to get the doorbuster price?

    You might want to let folks know this wont work for a couple of reasons.

    1. Customer Service where you would normally do a price match will be used for purchases. There will be no returns at any BBY until after noon when the early bird specials are over.

    2. There are tickets handed out before store opening. Those tickets entitle that person to one of the items at the early bird price. One item per person per ticket. If you bought the item beforehand you obviously will not have a ticket entitling you to get that item at that price.

    3. On the ad it states near the bottom “Best Buy’s price match policy does not apply to items in this ad and is not valid on prior purchases.”