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Black Friday Survival Guide
Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, people around the country get up early and rush to the mall to take advantage of Black Friday sales. It's the biggest shopping day of the year —so big that some stores have even started having presales on Thanksgiving Day. Going in blind can be overwhelming and cause you to lose out on the best deals, so here's how to prepare yourself and score the biggest savings on this hectic day.
The Big Doorbuster Debate
Doorbusters are, as the name implies, deals that people are willing to bust down the door to get. These usually occur right when the store opens. Shoppers start lining up outside hours or even days before opening so they can be the first to dip into the limited supply of these items. Most of the best doorbusters sell out within minutes of the sale starting.
Whether or not they're worth it is totally subjective and requires figuring out the value of your time. You could be saving $300 on a TV, but you could lose out on a night of sleep after a long day of entertaining guests. If you decide it's worth it, be sure to bring a lawn chair, a fully charged phone and some snacks for the big wait ahead of you.
Map Out Your Trip
With the massive crowds, it can be tricky to navigate to the right section of the store. On top of that, you may get there and find the item you want isn't even there. That's because many retailers display their biggest deals in random departments — you may find the gaming console you were eyeing on display near the hardware section instead of the electronics section.
Luckily, more and more stores have begun putting interactive maps on their websites. These maps enable you to find the location of all the big ticket items, making it easier to get your hands on them before they're all gone. If you plan to buy something that is sure to sell out fast, it's worth taking a look at the store's website to plan out your best route.
Start Tracking Prices Now
On Black Friday, not all deals are as they seem. In the weeks leading up to the event, some stores raise prices on items they'll later put on sale. A $200 item may get jacked up to $275 the week before, then marked down to $190 for the sale. It's then advertised as being thirty percent off, even though the regular price for the item is only $10 more.
You can avoid falling into one of these sale traps by keeping track of prices in the weeks preceding the sale. Check different stores, both online and offline, and take note of any price changes. It's easy to see the big "Fifty Percent Off!" tag and take the bait, but careful - the deal might be too good to be true.
Read the Fine Print
All the eye-catching ads lure you in with pictures of shiny new products next to low prices, so it's understandable why many shoppers don't read the fine print at the bottom before heading to the store. However, reading it could save you a big headache and, in some cases, a lot of money.
Some sale items, for example, require you to fill out a mail-in rebate form and wait up to a few months to receive the rebate before you actually get the savings advertised. Others may display a price which is only valid if you pay with a store credit card. If the ad is valid for several locations, the fine print may reveal a certain item is only available at one location. Get out your magnifying glass and read the tiny text just in case — you'll be glad you did.
Consider Skipping the Sales
Shoppers are increasingly skipping Black Friday sales altogether. With more and more stores offering equally good online deals, there may not even be a need to wait in line all night to take advantage of great prices. Shopping at your own pace from your computer is much easier on the mind and body than pushing through hordes of people for hours.
Instead of enduring endless lines and huge crowds, come have some fun! With the Wink 'N' Win Promotion at Lady Luck® Vicksburg, you could win big every Friday and Saturday in November (except Friday, November 13) — just come by between 7p.m. and 11 p.m. and enter our drawing. Winners get to play Plinko®! Drop the puck and you could win up to $1,000 FanPlay®. Now, that's a deal you can't afford to miss!