Black Friday 2013 shopping tips


Harmon Leon (

In the busiest shopping day of the year, being safe and planning ahead can make your shopping experience more pleasurable.

1. Know what to buy and what stores have the items you want before beginning your shopping trip.  This will prevent you from losing valuable shopping time and leaving empty handed.

2. Don’t get carried away and break your wallet by shopping for items that you don’t need.

3.  Take the extra time beforehand and scour ads for savings and quantities offered at retailers. It’s not worth waiting in a long line for hours to find out that what you want isn’t offered at the store. Also, take advantage of store previews to get an idea of what you want.

4. Be careful of prices. Many stores  inflate their prices and put up convincing sales tags on items to attract buyers.

5. Have a budget because it’s easy to overspend on gifts regardless of discounts.

6. Expect long lines at popular big-box retailers and department stores. At malls like Tysons Corner Center and Fair Oaks Mall, try to avoid lines be arriving shortly after opening and use a side entrance.

7. Take at least 3-4 people shopping with you. That way, some can wait at the checkout line while you and another friend do the shopping.

8. Don’t expect luxury brands such as Chanel, Burberry or Gucci at high-end boutiques and department stores to have sales.

9. Electronics are one of the most sought of products and fastest to sell during Black Friday. In order to have a chance at a new big screen TV or laptop, you must get in line several hours before opening.

10. Be careful of your surroundings and avoid getting trapped in crowds headed for the doors. There have been numerous cases of people getting seriously injured and even death from stampedes.

11. It’s okay not to do your shopping on Black Friday. Retailers offer more sales in the upcoming weeks leading up to Christmas, so there are always many opportunities to save.

12. Stay at home and have a painless experience by shopping on Cyber Monday.