The BEST way to avoid crowds and even get killer deals is to do a lot of your black friday shopping online.
Amazon has already started alot of black friday specials, usually the Monday before black friday. It gives you almost a full week to browse. You can also make wiser choices, as the impulse to buy is lessened. It is also easier to comparison shop. By that time, the shipping is usually free if over a certain amount. No parking, no hassles, same great deals! SO awesome!
Also, if you go to blackfriday.com, they update the deals as they become available. Most internet black friday deals are available starting at 2 pm est on Thanksgiving day. They say to buy early to avoid the stock being depleted. You can link directly to the sales from that website.
Also, check with the drug stores and supermarkets. They often also offer black friday deals and are not nearly as crowded. In fact, it’s almost like a normal day sometimes. Drugstores, especially have great gift items for the holidays on Black Friday sales, typically, toys, perfume sets, watches, and more.
Steer clear of deep discount department stores like Target, Kmart, Walmart. Try stores like Office Max, Staples, Home Depot, Harbor Freight, where the lines are typically much shorter, and not the mass chaos like the aforementioned. But still killer deals!
Stay away from big ticket items, like big screen TVs, which draw the most crowds. Instead think smaller gift purchases, and get some items for next year birthdays, Anniversaries, Valentine’s, Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day. Make a shopping list for the year, and you can get them all in one day at rock bottom prices, because you’ll avoid the higher traffic big ticket stores.
Get a head start. Some stores are open on Thanksgiving Day! I would rather laze around with the family though. But if you want to beat the crowds… Maybe that one is for you!
Go with a friend. You’re going to be in line for awhile. Will be nice to enjoy doing your time with a friend that you enjoy.
Don’t carry a purse. Wear a backpack with snacks and water. If you’re a serious Black Friday shopper, you’ll make better use of your time, if you don’t have to get in long lines for food and drink. And will save you money!
And here’s a good one… Shop online and pick up it later from the store. Lots of retailers offer the same great Black Friday deals online. And to avoid shipping costs, many let you pick it up at the store, at a later date!
In the end, if you decide to go out there and battle the crowds, try to keep a good attitude. Wear good walking shoes. Take vitamins, and get plenty of sleep before you go out. Just decide you’re going to have a great day, no matter what!