Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Since Nicole Alumbaugh was a child, she and her mom have been getting out of bed at the crack of dawn, heading to the stores on Black Friday.
"I have not missed a Black Friday, and I will not," said Alumbaugh.
This year will be no different.
BLACK FRIDAY STORE HOURS
"It's addictive. It's a lot of fun, but also, it's to save hundreds and hundreds of dollars. When you take those receipts home and see how much you've saved, it really is unbelievable," said Alumbaugh.
So unbelievable, Alumbaugh and her mom will leave home by 6:00 Thanksgiving night, to start lining-up in front of stores.
They are not going empty-handed, they will have strategies in mind and lists in hand, something Wichita-area deal finders say is important.
"You need to know exactly what you're looking for, and what specifications you want, what features you want, so that you know if you get to the store and you see it if that's a low enough price for you or not," said Ashlea Konecny, author of dealdetectingdiva.com .
Start that research now.
Unlike past decades, shoppers do not have to wait until Thanksgiving Day to open the newspaper in search of all the ads.
"A lot of stores will leak their Black Friday ads," said Carolyn Erickson, author of wichitaonthecheap.com.
Once you have seen them, it is time to shop.
If you are going the brick-and-mortar route, make sure you are in the store line in plenty of time to ensure you get your bargain.
"If you want one of the TVs that are for 200 and some odd dollars, you're going to want to be there hours before," said Alumbaugh.
When the doors open, grab a map at the front of the store. The maps show where each item is located. Then, send each member of your group to a different area.
"One person takes one side of the store, the other takes the other side of the store, and we pick each others' items up so we don't have to miss anything," said Alumbaugh.
To get to the next store faster, send one member to the cash register, to hold a spot in line.
Once they are officially yours, make sure your bargains will be safe at the next store.
"I would try to have a safe location especially for those expensive items," said Alumbaugh.
If you have had too much turkey, or do not want to stand in the cold, do not forget, often times online deals are just as good as those in stores, especially on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Plus, you can usually get an even better deal online thanks to coupon websites.
"If you go to retailmenot.com, they have promo codes for just about every online retailer in the world," said Konecny.
For Alumbaugh, standing in line is usually more fun.
To those who think she is crazy, she urges you to, "Come try it. You usually get addicted after the first time," said Alumbaugh.
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