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How To Shop At Department Stores On Black Friday

Adaobi Ugoagu |
November 24, 2013 | 2:34 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Shoppers crowd Macy's on Black Friday (Pinterest @NPR)
Shoppers crowd Macy's on Black Friday (Pinterest @NPR)

While going home to feast on a succulent turkey is always a highly-anticipated seasonal tradition, what Americans look forward to most is the day after Thanksgiving: Black Friday. This day marks the beginning of holiday sales, and that means ridiculously low prices and jaw-dropping deals.

Year after year hundreds of Americans save this date on their calendar to clamor and camp out in the wee hours of the morning to indulge their passion for shopping.

However, this night is notorious for getting out of control. Department stores have some of the best deals on cute clothes, but can also be the most hectic. Here are some tips to stay safe yet savvy in order to maximize your Black Friday shopping experience. 

Plan Ahead: 

Know where you're going. Have a strategy of what sections of the store you will visit so that you can minimize wandering. With the intensity and speed of the crowd, you want to have a set idea of what sections are most important to see.

The accessories section, for instance, may be the spot you want to check first. Necklaces fit people of every shape and size, so they are likely to be snatched up early in the day. In addition, creating a meeting location is beneficial because it prevents a long hunt to find the people you came with. This brings us to our next point:

Bring a Pal Who Knows Your Style: 

Two heads are better than one! If you are shopping for others, bring a family member or friend to help you split up the shopping list. Tasks will be accomplished more quickly and smoothly if someone is there to not only aid you in carrying all of your items to the shopping cart, but to watch your back in case of pick-pocketers.

If you are planning on adding to your own wardrobe, be sure that your friend knows your fashion sense. Amidst the chaos, you will have to make snap decisions without consulting each other first.

Don’t Bring Valuables, Keep Your Wallet Close: 

Within the bustle, there will be a good amount of elbow-rubbing and sneaky fingers waiting to grab a wallet or phone within reach. Keep your possessions in an area that is hard to access, like a zipped purse or a front pocket that is in your immediate line of sight.

Stay Alert: 

If things become too rowdy, it is best to stay at a cautious distance or exit from the center of the chaos. Black Friday is notorious for stampedes. In past years, employees have even been trampled to death. Keep your eye out for activity that has the potential to ignite conflict. If you see someone in harm's way, call for help. That leather Coach bag can wait!

100% Safety: 

As you have probably heard before, abstinence is the only method that is one-hundred percent safe. If you are worried about the chaos, you can always stay home. Cyber Monday is a viable alternative, allowing you to uncover great deals while shopping in the comfort of your own pajamas. 

For more Black Friday shopping tips, click here. 

Reach Staff Reporter Adaobi Ugoagu by email here and follow her on Twitter.



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