From turkey to door-busters

By Alexa Lago

Thanksgiving is a wonderful day where families come together to feast, be thankful and spend time together. But as the pie tins get thrown away and everyone wakes up from their turkey-induced comas, Black Friday begins.

Americans all over the country kick off the holiday season by heading out on Thanksgiving evening to partake in the festivities that will last all weekend long.

But before shoppers head out on their Black Friday adventures, here is some helpful advice and reminders to ensure that the shopping goes smoothly.

Be Organized

The challenge for many shoppers is finding the stores that offer the best door-busters and prices on the products they want. Of course to complicate things even further, many stores open at the same time or feature different sales that run throughout the entire night.Tease

In order to ensure that shoppers get all of the best deals available, they need to be prepared and organized. The best way shoppers can do this is by downloading a Black Friday app onto their smart phone.

Black Friday.fm is a great app that smartphone users can download from their app store. All of the major stores are included on a list that shoppers can conveniently tap on to discover all the deals available to them.

Most stores listed include the time they open, the actual ad shoppers can download and view, door-busters, coupons they can access, and online deals as well.

Each store’s sales are also broken down into categories like toys, housewares and DVDs to make the shopping process even simpler. Shoppers can also utilize the shopping list feature on the app that allows them to group together the items they want.

Apps like Black Friday.fm make it so much easier to stay organized and can help make shoppers’ Black Friday a success.

Dress for efficiency

Take off Thanksgiving attire and slip into something warm and comfortable. If shoppers are going to be walking/running, waiting in long lines and fighting for the items they want, the dress clothes have got to go.

Shoppers are entering a war zone, where speed and agility are a necessity. Shoppers should choose a comfy pair of jeans and a supportive pair of shoes to help them take on the crowds.

Aside from comfort, warm clothes are a must. As this article is being written, the weather is calling for 25-degree temperatures on Thursday night. Many stores like Target force their shoppers to wait outside in the frigid weather until the doors open.

Shoppers must either opt for waiting in their cars until the doors open, more than likely missing out on the door-busters, or they can come prepared.

Beat the cold weather by wearing a warm coat, gloves, scarf and a hat. Even though you might resemble an overdressed snow man, it’s better to be warm than frozen.

It will make all the difference when you easily rush inside when the doors open, while everyone else is left in the dust with numb limbs.

Stay away from the mall

Save yourself from the horror that is the mall on Black Friday. Though many stores outside of the mall have long lines and are packed to the gills with shoppers, the mall is a completely different environment altogether.

It seems like everyone in the area flocks to their local mall for its opening, and once shoppers go inside there is no coming back.

It is unlike anything shoppers will ever see, and is literally hell on Earth. So many people are compacted together into one slow-moving group and the tiny stores easily become overheated and overcrowded.

Shoppers can get trapped inside stores like Hollister within seconds, becoming lost in a sea of chaos. There is also little pay off for those who wait in an hour and a half line for a pair of barely discounted yoga pants.

The mall does have its charms on Black Friday.  For instance hot, shirtless guys are always located outside Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. Some malls have DJs and dance floors that shoppers can flock to.

It’s also a fun time to meet up with friends and hang out for a while. However, once you witness a scene of an overcrowded Victoria’s Secret filled with crying and screaming girls fighting over yoga pants that aren’t even on sale, you realize just how ridiculous Black Friday at the mall can be.

The chaos that ensues is enough to make anyone want to go home and give up on Black Friday for life. Choose another venue and avoid the mall at all costs.

Stay safe

Remember, no item is worth your life or the life of another. Though this may seem a tad dramatic, people have gotten seriously injured and killed on Black Friday. According to The Huffington Post, a Wal-Mart worker in 2008 died on Black Friday when they were overrun by shoppers and trampled to death. In another Black Friday incident, 20 people were injured at a Wal-Mart in California, when a woman pepper-sprayed people in the crowd in order to obtain a gaming console.

These are just two of the more notable instances that have happened during Black Friday and of course do not just occur at Wal-Mart. Ask anyone who has been out on Black Friday and they will tell you the insane lengths people go to get an item.

The second those doors open, all hell breaks loose as shoppers rush to get the items they want. People will take items they want out of other shoppers’ carts when they aren’t looking.

Many will grab as many hot-ticket items as they can get and sell them to the highest bidder around to make some extra cash. Shoppers will fight over items until someone is injured or gives up. Of course in the most extreme cases someone ends up dead.

Stay safe and sane during your Black Friday shopping, and walk away if things start to get too intense.

Respect the workers

We all know at least one poor soul who is stuck working on Black Friday. Retail workers are forced to leave their happy family gatherings on Thanksgiving to face the impending swarm of people.

Many work long shifts, and have to work the rest of the weekend as well. Employees are also forced to deal with the huge amount of preparation and clean up that comes with Black Friday.

Employees don’t even get paid extra for working Black Friday. Once the clock strikes midnight and Thanksgiving is over, they no longer receive time and a half for the hours they work. They don’t get nearly the credit or respect they deserve for working.

Many shoppers tend to blame the employees when something doesn’t go their way. It’s not the employee’s fault that someone got to the last TV before you did. It’s not their fault that the lines are long or that the store only had three of the iPads on sale in stock.

The employees are simply there to do their job, keep everyone safe and help things run smoothly. Be nice and respectful to them and take your frustrations out in another way.

Have fun

Whether you take Black Friday seriously or not, have fun! Even if you don’t get the item you want, just watching the people around you is entertaining enough. It’s also a great time to meet up with family and friends and enjoy spending time with them.

Try not to take it too seriously and just remember there will always be more sales. Black Friday is not life or death, and it’s supposed to kick off the most wonderful time of the year. Don’t be that shopper who ruins it for everyone.

For those of you who will be enjoying your Black Friday at home, enjoy! Eat a piece of pie for all of the fools out in the crowds and the poor retail workers suffering through the day.

For everyone braving out the crowds, in the words of “The Hunger Games’” Effie Trinket, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Happy holidays everyone.

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