As Black Friday approaches, make note of these shopping tips
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! While many of us are still in deep planning (panic?) mode putting the finishing touches on Thanksgiving dinner, there are others – more organized than myself — who are already doing deep knee bends in anticipation of shopping on “Black Friday.” If you’re one of those brave souls anticipating some Black Friday handto-hand combat with other shoppers while you’re still digesting a pound of turkey, sweet potatoes, croissants and a monster helping of desserts, you’re not alone. Read on for outstanding holiday shopping tips that will have your gift list wrapped up faster than you can say “Tums.”
Rule #1 – Remember that it’s called “Black Friday,” not “Black Thursday” – don’t get me wrong, I respect a retailer’s need to exercise all options to stay afloat in this insane economy. When a hard-working retailer jumps into the shiny boat of “Black Thursday,” opening their doors on Thanksgiving day with spectacular sales, they’re simply trying to get an edge over their competition and keep their staff employed. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you find it completely necessary (perhaps due to work schedules, etc.), by all means join them with abandon. But keep in mind that no human being ever left this earth feeling like they should’ve spent less time around the Thanksgiving table with loved ones … and more time gift shopping. Just putting it out there.
Rule #2 – Remember your best shopping buddy – your laptop! Gang, the days of fighting over parking spaces only to wrestle into an overcrowded mall so you can argue over the last overpriced bell-encrusted reindeer sweater are over. Instead, grab a cup of coffee, put on some Christmas music and do your shopping online in a fraction of the time. For kid’s gifts, remember Craigslist for gorgeous toys, clothes, bikes, books – you name it. It’s all waiting for you, usually about 90 percent off retail. For adults, give a look to Craigslist as well! Antique china, anyone? How about beautiful crystal, cashmere sweaters, jewelry, fur coats or antique books? I’ve bought them all on Craigslist, and I highly recommend it. Your local Goodwill is also a goldmine of gift goodies. When it comes to electronics, if you’re buying for anyone under the age of 18, remember that last year’s must-have, overpriced gizmo is now available on Ebay or Craigslist for easily 50 percent off, and it’s one of the lightest gifts on earth, meaning low shipping costs. Minimal (if any) driving, no parking, no hassle – and it all comes right to your door. Boom.
Rule #3 – Remember how you felt last January when the credit card bills started rolling in! You might fall into the group that opened their January credit card bills with shaky hands, looking at it with your fingers covering 99 percent of your eyes (as though the numbers could scorch your retinas) and then — upon seeing the amount due — promptly falling into deep despair. Or, you might be part of the crowd that opens your bills without a care in the world, looking at the amount due, cackling with glee and shouting “WOOT-WOOT!” as you do the “Stir The Pot” dance move from the mailbox back to the house. You work hard folks, you deserve to fall into that second category – this year, make sure “Black Friday” means that your books are in the black by the end of the day as well.
Happy Shopping, everyone!