Black Friday Shopping Tips

Since I spent nearly a decade of my life working retail, (a privately owned Toy Store, Target, Babies R Us and Sports Authority) I consider myself a bit of a Black Friday expert. I’ve worked many, many, many (many) Black Friday “Sales” and I know all the secrets. So, I  felt that I should share my knowledge with you all.

I’ve compiled a list of what I think are the best Black Friday Shopping tips:





Seriously. Don’t.  I know, I know, “It’s family tradition”  I get that, you enjoy standing outside in the cold, with 1,200 of your closest, fellow consumers.  There is some fun in that mob mentality thing.  “We’re all in this together!…..until the doors open, and then I will beat you to death with my travel mug of scalding coffee if you dare try and get that last George Foreman Grill!  It’s MINE!!! I’LL CUT YOU!!!”    Maybe consider starting a new family tradition. Like sleeping in. Maybe another round of “I am Thankful for….”  My family has a tradition of  “holding a grudge” over who cheated during the Thanksgiving edition of “Family Game Night.”  We like our breakfast to be laced with bitterness.


“The SALES!!!”   You say. “The DEALS!!” But, on what?  You do realize that while that 50 inch TV may be $50, it’s a Panatomic or a Somy. And 90% of you will return them because they don’t work.  I will never forget the APEX VCR/DVD players we sold at Target for like, $20. Almost every single one was returned. Because they didn’t work.   And if there is something AWESOME on sale, the store probably has 5 of them and unless you’re 2nd in line (you know the first person in line is always the one who gets trampled to death) can run fast, and know how to throw an elbow, you’re probably not going to get one.


Also, I’ll let you in on a secret.  Those fliers are deceiving.  A lot of those prices aren’t sales, they are REGULAR prices! That BluRay player is “ONLY $99.99”  just like it was last Tuesday, and will be next Tuesday. You just think it’s a sale, and the stores know that. I can also tell you that at every store I worked at, our Black Friday sale items were Still. On. Sale. for the rest of the season.  Those items in the Black Friday flier, were in the flier the following week (and the wee after, and the wee after that) as well.


Oh!  And!  There is this new thing, Al Gore invented it, it’s  called “The Internet” and stores have these things called “websites” where you can purchase “items” and you don’t have to worry about being trampled, shot, stabbed, or otherwise maimed in the process!  It’s pretty cool.


I hope you find this tip helpful. I know many of you will ignore my warnings, and head out on the scariest shopping day of the year, and that’s fine, but if you get pepper sprayed for that last Furby, you can’t say I didn’t warn you!


  1. Megan says:

    Love this Sarah! I have always said that Black Friday does NOT have the best sales of the season. Not even close. I’ve never gone out shopping the day after Thanksgiving and probably never will.

  2. Liza (Cira's Lyrics) says:

    haha! too funny! it IS a family tradition, al and i have done this since before we were married and black friday was as big as it is now (i leave my kids with my inlaws for that btw LOL). i love it! i do mostly the kids stuff though. and you know, i sort of feel like they ruined it this year with so many stores opening at midnight. BOO! i’m all about getting up for like 4am, but THAT is crazy. haha

    • Sarah says:

      I’m more likely to stay up, and shop at midnight than I am to get up for 4am LOL I am NOT a morning person, which plays a part in this. But, I thin it’s really cute that you and Al go together!! It’s like a Date!

  3. Jen says:

    While I most certainly agree with you that it’s a huge marketing ploy and the sales are exactly the same the following week, I get a thrill out of doing Black Friday shopping at 4 am. It’s like I’m doing something I’m not supposed to be, which is a very rare occasion these days. Brings me back to my youth a bit. :) However, I don’t go to the insanely crazy places that break out in violence and I don’t go to look for electronics or anything that would require someone throwing pepper spray at me for. I go and wait like a normal person and grab kids PJs, kids clothes, PJs for myself, books, and kids toys. I’ve never had an issue with Black Friday in all the years I’ve done it… and this year, I won’t be going out until later on Friday during the day b/c there is nothing I need to be at a doorbuster for. But the prices are already out there now for the items I really want, so I just bought those pieces yesterday. :)

    • Sarah says:

      Haha! Yeah, I understand that for some people, it’s more about the act of going shopping with a zillion others at 4am than it is about getting a good deal on a VCR 😉 There definitely ARE good deals on stuff like PJs and clothes! But, since I’m in Target almost Daily, I too, have already made my purchases!

  4. Stephanie Kay (@stephmommybrain) says:

    Too funny!! I seldom leave my house on Black Friday. I don’t enjoy the shopping chaos and crazies. Plus my hubby always works Black Friday. It’s a pretty good deal actually. Everyone else will use an entire vacation day to stay home. My hubby will go into work as usual. Then around 2 PM the managers will tell them to go home. 1/2 a day off work without using a vacation day. Can’t beat that!

    • Sarah says:

      I don’t mind stores being open on Thanksgiving, but I used to volunteer to work because we got such a fabulous discount! So I’d do all my shopping for my family while I worked! But now I only leave the house in the afternoon, my family usually catches a movie!

  5. Courtney Buteau says:

    I’ve actually gone out in year’s past, but since having Chloé I haven’t ventured out into the craziness. Glad I’ve experience it though. However, I do buy the bulk of my gifts on Cyber Monday. I don’t mind an internet stampede, it doesn’t hurt as much. lol

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