How to Survive Black Friday

If you're serious about it, start doing your research this very second
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2010 5:40 PM CST
In this file photo taken Nov. 27, 2009, Black Friday shoppers line up to pay for their purchases at a Kohl's store in Omaha, Neb.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik. file)

(Newser) – For some, Black Friday will actually begin tonight. "I leave the house at 9:30pm on Thanksgiving," one serious shopper tells the New York Daily News. "Everything used to open at 6am, but every year it gets even earlier." With 138 million Americans expected to be out shopping for deals, how can you snag what you want? Some tips:

  • "You gotta pack light, get your coffee and go," says the aforementioned shopper, who recommends—along with many of her seasoned peers—shopping alone, and organizing flyers and credit cards beforehand.

  • Or bring a shopping pal ... and a strategy. "We tag-team," says one shopper. "My friend or I will stay in line while the other person runs to get their stuff."
  • "Outwit, outlast, outplay," says another Black Friday veteran who befriends managers for "insider information" and cases each store beforehand so he'll know where to find products.
  • He also recommends talking to other shoppers in line to make sure you're not missing any great deals—but, of course, don't give away any of your own secrets. "It's all mind games before the doors open, and then it's WrestleMania!"
  • Sites like can help, but there's nothing like the time-honored just-grab-it technique: Says one shopper, "I usually spot what I want and get it before anyone else sees me or the product."
Click here for five more tips from a pro.

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