Black Friday shopping tips and strategies

TULSA - While most Black Friday shoppers are seeking the thrill of saving money, not all of them are alike. There are three basic types of Black Friday Shoppers.

The Game Show Shopper races from one store to the next, collecting as many freebies and unbelievable bargains as possible before time is up. Tips:

  • Download the Channel 2 app. Avoid carrying all of the flyers from the paper. Download the KJRH app. It has links to most of the Black Friday ads. 
  • Find a like-minded friend or two to join your team. You do not want to be paired up with a Hunting Shopper  or someone who does not have the same goal in mind because he or she may go off course to seek other bargains or try to grab a couple extra things "while we are here".
  • One team member should hold a place in line while the others grab the deals. Only one on the team should pay for the group and split the bill later otherwise others in line will be frustrated.  Doorbusters go fast.
  • A day or two before, plot out (in order of most to least important) the stores with the doorbuster deals desired. Only buy the truly doorbuster items. The other stuff will get marked down later. This is no time to browse.
  • Try to get a map of the store. Some stores make it a challenge to find the doorbuster deals by selling the marked-down TV in the shoe department, for example.
  • Don't carry a purse. Slip some cash and a credit card in a pocket. Be sure the cell phone is charged and handy to keep in touch with the team.
  • There are always "mystery deals" that pop up day of. But Game Show Shoppers don't impulse buy. Move to the next thing on the list.
  • The first 200 shoppers through main mall entrance at Promenade Mall after 5:00 am will get goody bag filled with discounts including a $20 mall gift card.
  • One Game Show Shopper that we spoke with views the Disney snow globe given away by JCPenney each year as her trophy. A limited number of these snow globes made especially for Black Friday are offered beginning at 4:00 am CST at all JCPenney stores.
  • Another prized item is the Bath and Body Works VIP Bag containing $100-worth of merchandise found in-store and on-line.
  • Plan to have breakfast with friends after the mad rush for prizes is over.

The Hunting Shopper stalks the targeted bargains he or she has listed in each store and searches for pop-up specials that stores offer that day. Tips:

  • Be sure the smartphone is charged and the KJRH app (which links to all of the Black Friday ads) is downloaded.
  • Make a list and a specific plan ahead of time.
  • See the tips above for the Game Show Shopper. Most apply to Hunters as well.
  • If you are unsure if a deal is great or if the item is really needed, buy it anyway and return it later if you decide that you don't need it. Remember the saying, "You snooze, you lose." Don't waste time trying to make decisions at the store.
  • Price comparison apps like Redline allow shoppers to scan a barcode with the iPhone and search for low online and local prices from hundreds of thousands of retailers.
  • Wal-Mart, Target and other stores do price match on exact items, but most places have store-specific items on sale that other stores do not carry. Therefore, don't count on being able to price match much.
  • Woodland Hills Mall offers a Black Friday VIP shopping experience which includes a preferred parking pass and access to the VIP lounge complete with refreshments.

The On-Line Shopper does not enjoy the bustle of long lines and crowds. He or she strategically flits from one website to another, vying to beat out the on-line competition for a limited number of products sold at unheard-of prices.  Tips:

  • Most of the on-line deals start at 1:00 am CST. It is a good idea to start shopping this early because the items on sale will sell out quickly.
  • Some stores offer in-store pick-up so you save on shipping. Buy the deal on-line and then pick it up later after the crowds have lessened.

Happy bargain shopping! Thanks to Summer Jenkins and Christina Fravel, annual Black Friday shoppers, for sharing their tips and strategies.

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