A Guide to Organized Holiday Shopping: Black Friday, Part 2
5. Making a shopping list - On a sheet of paper make a list of each store you plan to go to and under each store's name, make a list of the items you plan to buy there. Put a star next to the items you are most interested in. This will help you to prioritize your list.
6. Prioritizing & organizing the stores on your list - At this time you should prioritize and decide which stores you want to go to first. In my opinion, this is the most important step. There are a number of factors to base priorities on. You can use these factors to make one list, or a make a couple of lists based on these factors and coordinate the two.
- Time of sale - Each store ends its sale at a different time. Some go until 11am or noon. Others are over by 10am. Then there are others that have sales for the entire weekend. Obviously you should first go to the stores that end their sales earlier.
- Items you are most interested in - If a particular store has something that you especially want, you should go there first thing. Many of these items will be in limited quantities at the stores, so you should get there early.
- Location of stores - In order to save time and gas, you should keep the locations of the stores in mind. Think of how close they are to your home and how close they are to one another, and map out your shopping route to avoid driving back and forth.
- Normal everyday items versus the extraordinary - Keep in mind that many of the items in the sale ads are not going to sell out. In fact some of the items, namely bath and perfume gift sets, movies, and clothes, will be available for the next month, so try to save yourself time and buy these items later. Meanwhile focus your efforts on the "extraordinary." Popular toys and electronics may or may not be available later, so you should put these as a top priority.
- A store with one good item versus several - Some stores on your list may only have one thing that you want, whereas others will have an entire stock of things you are interested in. I would advise going to the stores that only have one or two items that you want first. Then when you go to the store that has several items, you'll have more time to look around because you will have already been to the other stores. However, if you feel time slipping up on you, you may want to skip a couple of these stores that only have one item that you want, so that you can get to these other place before the sales end.
Once you have your priorities straight, and you have a well organized list, you should be ready to brave the shopping world. Don’t forget to bring your shopping list and your ads with you on your shopping trip. Also remember not to stress too much, and try to be patient and friendly with fellow customers. Getting the latest Elmo toy is not a matter of life and death. Don’t yell at someone if they get in your way or pick up the item that you wanted. The most important thing is to have fun and stay safe. Happy Shopping!