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Women’s fashion: Prepare to cart through Black Friday shopping competition, deals

Courtesy of MCT

It’s almost here! The day all shopaholics have been waiting for – Black Friday. What’s for some a post-Thanksgiving ritual has turned into a display of insane shoppers looking for the biggest TVs at the lowest prices and macing anyone who gets in their way. Here are some ways to shop efficiently and avoid injury while making the most out of your holiday shopping.

Know what you need

Making a game plan is the most important part of this day. The way to make things run smoothly is to have a list of items you know you absolutely have to find on Black Friday. Try to research which stores have sales lasting only certain hours or certain days. Some sales are ongoing and last throughout the weekend. This will help you decide which stores to tackle first and where you can go after a coffee break.

You can have it all, just not all at once

Don’t expect to find everything on your list when you shop on Friday. Decide what items are priorities, such as more expensive gifts, and save things that are cheaper for later. If you know someone who’s always looking for the latest, greatest thing, waiting on his or her present is a good idea to avoid buying something he or she already has.

Know your competition

Be aware that some shoppers arm themselves with pepper spray and train for this day like it’s the New York City Marathon. (Remember the person who was trampled and died at Wal-Mart a few years ago?) Stores such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target are known for their deals and while they might require a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call, the people camping outside the front door are probably not sleepy and viciously want that 50-inch HD TV more than you. Think about how much you’re willing to risk for it.

Leave time for transportation

Parking garages and lots of outdoor shopping malls require traffic direction and even valet parking on Black Friday. Make sure to leave plenty of time to search for a parking space. (This could take up to an hour, maybe even more.) You can even carpool with friends who want to hit up the same stores. It saves you time in the parking lot and gas money.  

Show yourself a little love

If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to buy it. Been eyeing that Kate Spade bag for months? Get it now. There’s no other time during the year when you’ll find sales like these, and it’s important that you treat yourself every once in a while. Reward yourself for all your hard shopping work!

Black Friday is nothing to be scared of if you plan ahead and know what you’re getting yourself into. First-time shoppers might want to avoid major discount department stores and stick to private label stores such as the Gap and Victoria’s Secret. So grab a big cup of coffee and prepare yourself for the official start of the holiday season.

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