Ah, you can feel it in the air, can’t you? It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. The uplifting caroling from TV ads, promising the sweetest deals of the year. The musty smells of queued-up shoppers, many who were in such a hurry that they forgot to shower or put on deodorant. The eye-opening taste of poorly-made drive-thru coffee as you get set to join those throngs.
Yes, it’s Black Friday, the sacred day of consumerism that’s supplanted that silly tradition in which people once avoided the necessity of early Christmas shopping for themselves in order to sit down to a meal with loved ones. Now, Black Friday Eve is all about watching the clock, scouting deals worthy of eye-gouging to score and plotting out your plan of brutal attack.
Black Friday is no holiday to enjoy, but to win. So keep these tips in mind when you set out to celebrate.
Rule 1: Forget about Thanksgiving.
Some people who don’t understand the importance of Black Friday may try to trip you up by inviting you over for a feast. Don’t fall for the temptation. Catching up with Uncle Ned or overindulging on Granny’s sweet potato surprise will only trip you up. So avoid the Thanksgiving trap and spend your day shuffling through mall lines to secure 30 percent off on socks and sweatpants.
Rule 2: Shop for yourself today, worry about others later.
All the ads will be talking gifts, gifts gifts. And it’s gifts you’ll seek alright, but not for others, but for the person that means most to you — you!
Regardless of whether or not you need anything, it’s important to seek great deals on those things. Never mind that the money you are saving is not actual savings because you wouldn’t have bought the junk had it not been on sale. It’s all about the thrill of the hunt and the joy of buying the last half-off tablet on the rack so you can add it to your stable of last year’s half-off tablet you don’t use.
Rule 3: Play dirty to cut in line.
If it were easy to be the first person in line at the store offering buy-one-get-one-free jeans, everyone would be first. But some people, like you, have lives and commitments that make it tough to snag a spot out in front. Since you can’t rely on your time management skills to get you there, turn instead to your deviousness. Use whatever you’ve got. Pull out those crutches and leg brace you kept around from years ago when you tore your ACL. If you happen to be a parent, yank your screaming kid out of the crib.
Go low. Tell sob stories about how someone you love dearly — hiding the fact that it’s yourself — who is struggling with illness — never mind that the illness is a chest cold — so badly needs this discounted waffle iron to brighten his holiday. Failing all else, strike up a conversation with a stranger, pretending to know them from the past, hoping their guilt of having forgotten you gets them to go along with it. All it takes is one sympathetic dope to feel badly enough for you to let you in.
Rule 4: If you don’t need to cut in line, sell your spot.
If you don’t happen to have a life and commitments and are partial to being the early bird, get your worm by selling your spot to stragglers. After you’ve nabbed your spot, look out for late-comers looking to get in on the action, then wave them over. Tell them you’ve been in line for hours, but feel for them and are willing to part with your place for some hard cash.
Prime opportunities for this sort of action will be Xbox One and PlayStation 4 lines outside electronics stores. Keep an eye out for dads who look like they are willing to pay well to keep Santa’s promises to their spawn.
Rule 5: Case the stores ahead of time.
Aisles on Black Friday are full of meandering fools who have no idea what they’re doing, where they’re going or what they’re looking for. Don’t be those guys. Know the layout in advance and mark out your routes. Plan it out just as a burglar would a bank heist. Know your entrance and exit routes and the locations of the loot.
If you’re confused about where you’ll need to be, enlist an inside man in the form of a store employee. And once the day comes, be ruthless. Don’t be afraid to shamelessly run , slide and jump for whatever it is you want. Also, be on the lookout for others who are just as aggressive. Make like a basketball player defending a fast break. Don’t initiate contact, but hold your ground against those who do.