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So Business Insider asked more than 40 Black Friday workers to share their best advice for shoppers and what mistakes they should avoid.
Here are 12 tips that could help you get the most out of your Black Friday shopping experience.
Unless you plan to be one of the first people in line, don’t bother camping out or lining up
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“The big-deal items are very limited, so unless you’re one of the first 10 in line, you’re probably not going to get it. The rest of the products are still there a few hours later. And if you don’t like crowds or waiting, stay home and order online or wait until Friday afternoon when it’s slower in the stores.”
The same goes for whether you want the doorbuster
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“Unless there’s a doorbuster you need, don’t waste your time. Cyber Monday has some good deals, too, and you can camp out for those deals in your pajamas in bed.”
“On Black Friday so many people underestimate the time and energy it takes to do marathon shopping. If you are going with someone else, be sure they are as committed or as not committed to the experience as you are.
“Taking two cars is probably a good idea.
“Plan out your day: Where to go first, when to take a break, how long you want to be out. Give yourself extra time, too. Everything will take twice as long as you think. Be patient and be forgiving. Wear comfy shoes, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!”
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“If you drive a small car, please rent a larger one, because that 65-inch TV won’t fit in the back of your car.”
Do your research on what you want
- David McNew/Reuters
“One of the biggest mistakes people make is buying items without really looking into them.
“Some of the computer systems on sale, for example, contain about half the new tech of similar ones, and if you waited, the prices would be comparable later on.
“And many of the Black Friday sale tablets are often stripped models that have limited use. They’re great to play games on, but forget hitting the internet or other uses.”
And be aware of what you’re really getting
- REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn
“Most of the bigger deals are actually outdated products. Yeah, you have your new tablets and phones, but those will be very limited in both how many there are and how much you can save. Most of the biggest and most tempting savings come from products that are at least a year old or more and they have to clear out the inventory in the warehouses.”
According to a study from NerdWallet, 93% of stores offered customers at least one product for the exact same price in 2014 as in their 2013 Black Friday ad.
Don’t be duped by sale prices
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“The stuff is marked up from the original cost and then marked down to make people think they are getting a deal.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, retailers will slightly increase on the “normal” price of an item in the days before their Black Friday sales so that the discounts appear deeper. In fact, The Journal reported an 8% increase in a fifth of the sale items it tracked before Black Friday and a 23% uptick in the presale prices of toys and tools.
Don’t fall for stores’ tricks to get you to buy more
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“At higher-end stores, don’t fall for the freebie prosecco or Pellegrino. Stores just want to keep you in there longer so you’ll spend money.”
This isn’t the only trick stores use to get you to spend more during the holiday season.
“The stores are really desperate for your business and will stop at nothing to upsell you.
“Where I worked, HQ would set next-to-impossibly high sales goals that each store was responsible for hitting. We were instructed that once we had someone on the line with money to spend, to ‘keep her naked’ in the dressing room and constantly bring her different colors, accessories, shoes, jewelry, Pellegrino, the works. The idea was that the more she tried on, the more you told her it to look great, the more she’d spend.”
Some of the best deals are in the clearance section
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“The sales the day of aren’t any better than the sales the week of. And sales, in general, aren’t all that great. A lot of stuff is marked up to make it look like the Black Friday discounts are better than they actually are. If you really want a deal, look at the clearance section.”
Be nice or pay the price
- Kena Betancur / Stringer / Getty Images
“Black Friday shoppers tend to bang on doors, assuming that if they cause enough chaos, they will be allowed in.
“Banging on the door will make all of us hate you. As in, if there is a chance to make your shopping experience a little more difficult via small, passive-aggressive actions, we will do it. Think $50 and $100 bill checks, ‘a slow register,’ and ‘Aw, we just ran out of gift wrapping.’
“All I can offer is, be nice. No one chooses to work the day after Thanksgiving.”
- Reuters/Luke MacGregor
“I think everyone needs to have a lot of patience on Black Friday and enjoy the fun of shopping instead of making it stressful.”
Follow up with prices after Black Friday
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“Some companies offer price adjustments, so if you buy something and it goes on sale within two weeks or so, you may be able to get the difference back.”