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BF Tips and advice


30 replies to this topic

#1
dasnufus

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If its okay I thought a thread on BF Tips might be useful. We can share any tips we have in making our shopping experience easier and better. 1: Do all your research the night before. There's nothing worse than looking at an ad 5 in the morning with barely any lighting and when temps can be close to freezing. 2: Scout the stores ahead of time. Know your store layout. The 2 times I've been to BF there are so many ppl running around like a chicken without its head. Know exactly where the items you want might be. 3: Check your stores PM policy. If your store will PM on BF, then there's really no need to wake up so damn early. Buy the items ahead of time, wake up on Friday like a normal person. Take your time getting to the store and go straight to the CSR counter for your PM.



#2
crimson

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If at all possible, do not shop alone. One of the two of you gets in line at the register while the other runs around the store getting the items on your list. Or divide the list to speed things up. This team approach is especially helpful at stores like Best Buy and Walmart.

Besides checking out the ads & stores ahead of time, keep an eye on the forcast & dress appropriately. In parts of the country, that usually means warm boots, layers, gloves, hat & scarf.


For women, I recommend ditching the handbag or pocket book, one less thing to get in your way.


Hot coffee, mega important. There is a reason travel mugs were invented. -coffee-




If you have children be smart & get a babysitter or leave them with a relative. No child, especially a young one, should be subjected to the crowds on BF. Plus, you know it is much easier to shop with out them. Same goes for a whiny spouse who hates shopping. :rolleyesold:





Last tip: clean out your car trunk before BF, you'll need the room. :p
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#3
JDMnAR

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dress appropriately

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


This means helmets and pads kiddies - it is full-contact out there! :p

Seriously - as has already been mentioned, do your homework. Know important things like what you want at each store you plan on hitting, what time each store is opening, back roads to get from store to store avoiding traffic, stuff like that. If you have very many purchases, you might even call your credit card issuer ahead of time to let them know to avoid any hassles for declined cards, etc.

EDIT: Make sure you have plenty of gas in your vehicle - no need to have to wait in any extra lines.

Edited by JDMnAR, 21 October 2005 - 08:28 AM.

Why yes Intel, I DO want a world of entertainment in my lap, thanks for asking!

#4
kar522

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Hot coffee, mega important. There is a reason travel mugs were invented.  -coffee-

Go before you leave home, and if possible stop one more time before you enter the stores...lines at the restrooms can be longer than lines at the registers...

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#5
cresident

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Helpful Tip: Shop online early and then go back to bed.

#6
ladybugs227

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Helpful Tip:  Shop online early and then go back to bed.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Now where's the fun in that? :p
Cindy

#7
crimson

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Now where's the fun in that?  :p

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That would depend upon who is sharing the bed ;)
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#8
rocdragon

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I was thinking about the problem with certain items going out of stock before you get there, when you don't want to wait in the freezing cold for the store to open up... What if you were to hide (er- accidentally misplace) the item you want to purchase somewhere else in the store (preferably some low-traffic area where people never look- let's say for example, the music section for Vanilla Ice), the day before BF? Would this work, or do you think they would look at everything in their inventory and ensure they have exactly N items available on the shelves just before the sale? I kinda doubt the employees would look through every nook and cranny of the store to find the one missing item- they may just assume it was shoplifted. So at least for some of the smaller items and those that aren't locked up behind a counter, I think this may work. I'm sure someone else has probably thought of this already... Anyone see any problems with this plan?

#9
ladybugs227

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This works with smaller items, but damn Wal-Mart employees are thorough with such things. Also, many items are special buys and are not available until the day of the sale. :/
Cindy

#10
jungleman

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This is my 5th year going and here are all the things I learned, some the hard way...

1) Get there at the right time! It seems obvious but know your store and know how many people to expect. Best Buy usually has a LOT of people -- OfficeMax and Staples, not as many. I got to Staples about 90 mins before open and I was literally the first in line, yet at Best Buy people got there 4-5 hours before open.

2) Know your store! A lot of times larger stores will give out maps to sections and even big-ticket items, but you can't count on it. Go to your store on Wednesday (many are closed on Thursday) and make sure you know where the sections you'll need are located. Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled to the floor displays regardless of how well you know the store, many times big ticket items are placed out on pallets on the aisles, away from their department.

3) If you live pretty much anywhere but the deep south you'll have to dress very warmly. Take off your extra layers BEFORE going in. Most stores are kept to a moderate temperature and you will be VERY uncomfortable waiting in line-- not to mention winter gloves and coats don't make you very maneuverable through the crowds. Park close to the store if possible so that you can throw your coat/gloves/hat in your car before going in-- have a friend save your spot in line (more on that in #4) but if that's not possible, usually a person in line will gladly save your spot.

4) Bring a friend! The advantages to this are endless. A friend can save your spot in line while you go to your car, see #3. One can grab some snacks while the other waits in line-- especially in large stores like Best Buy. And of course the obvious advantage-- splitting up! One friend can get some items (duplicates of course) while you get others.

4.5) Related to #4, charge your cell phone the night before, so you can meet up with your friend easily.

5) Make a list of the items you are going to buy. You can spend all the time in the world concentrating on the big items, and forget the small, cheap ones and remember just as you walk out... :(

6) Don't bother packing your iPod, your Game Boy, your PDA, a deck of cards, your Family Guy DVDs, your dog, your personal trainer...you get the idea. Don't worry about being entertained while waiting in line. You're almost always going to find someone to talk to and your extra gadgets are just going to add extra bulk. Anyone who is standing outside an electronics store at 4 in the morning when it's 25 degrees out is probably into computers and electronics just like you, so strike up a conversation. :p

7) On rebates and picking items/stores...seriously, just think about how much your time is worth. I'm not saying rebates are a scam, but seriously, if one item is $5 cheaper and has 3 rebates, go with the item that is $5 more and has one rebate, or better yet, Staples Easy Rebates (they really are easy). If it's a big difference, yeah, go for the extra rebates, but if it's $5 or $10...dont' waste your time. You'll thank me later.

7.5) Check prices online before you get an item. Often times I've found that regular, no rebate prices on Newegg, et al, are not much more/same as the BF prices. Read product reviews too! I've bought many a crappy product at BF *coughlexmarkprinterscough*

8) Don't bother hiding items the day before. Seriously, don't waste your time. I know people who work at Best Buy, Staples, et al, and it just doesn't work.

9) This one might surprise a lot of you, but go for the less popular items first! The big front-page specials, stores know that a lot of people are going to go for them, and they're probably going to keep a lot on hand. Other items, maybe not as many, so worry about those first, then go for the big stuff. I remember in 2003 at Best Buy, I got there at 9:30 (my dad had been waiting in line, I had been to Staples and OfficeMax) to meet him in line and lo and behold, there were DVD players and hard drives still in stock! The smaller, less popular items on the other hand (not the FAR stuff!) were all long-gone.

I think that's about it for now :)

Edited by jungleman, 06 November 2005 - 06:47 PM.


#11
zmama72

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I usually save trips on BF by taking all my ads to wal-mart and ad matching. This works really well for movies and games.

#12
fleureange

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Question?? Rather new to BF shopping so not sure if it is acceptable to have my shopping partner wait in line while I shop, then hold her place while she shops. Will this cause a fuss with the other shoppers? Last thing I want is an angry mob on my hands. Thanks.

#13
tanksta13

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hey i'm new to this whole thing as well, but somebody mentioned in another thread that if you buy it a few days before black friday and come back on black friday, just have them match their new price at the customer service desk instead of going through the hassle of running to beat people to certain items anybody with experience on this type of shopping please advise because that seems rather easy and convenient thanks

#14
IamAddicted

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One of the issues with that is that most of the BF items are not put to the sales floor before BF making it impossible to buy the item ahead of time.

#15
tanksta13

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Yeah that's true I was actually looking around the forum and found some more answers They said to just take it on a store-by-store basis and ask them before you buy it and make sure you have the right return policy, whether it's 14 days or 30 days or whatever it is. Sometimes they may make you return it and repurchase the item at the new Black Friday price. I think that's what i'll do thanks for your help

#16
moodswings66

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I was thinking about the problem with certain items going out of stock before you get there, when you don't want to wait in the freezing cold for the store to open up... 

What if you were to hide (er- accidentally misplace) the item you want to purchase somewhere else in the store (preferably some low-traffic area where people never look- let's say for example, the music section for Vanilla Ice), the day before BF?  Would this work, or do you think they would look at everything in their inventory and ensure they have exactly N items available on the shelves just before the sale? 

I kinda doubt the employees would look through every nook and cranny of the store to find the one missing item- they may just assume it was shoplifted.  So at least for some of the smaller items and those that aren't locked up behind a counter, I think this may work.  I'm sure someone else has probably thought of this already...  Anyone see any problems with this plan?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The only problem I see with this idea, is that most retailer's, if you are caught doing this, can and will have you banned from their store. I know that the chances of being caught doing this are slim, but I have seen it happen. -duh-

#17
L4Zy AzN bOi

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The only problem I see with this idea, is that most retailer's, if you are caught doing this, can and will have you banned from their store. I know that the chances of being caught doing this are slim, but I have seen it happen. -duh-

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


they banned a guy from home depot for stealing a used pencil

#18
ladybugs227

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Glue on toliet seats and now this. That's why I shop at LOWE'S!! :D
Cindy

#19
gizmosmama

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Here are some tips that have worked very well for me:

Map out your route & wants the night before. Know where the stores are & coordinate with opening times. BE ON TIME OR EARLIER! Park in a spot not too crowded & not too far, you want to get in & out as quickly as possible! Dress in layers, bring hand & foot warmers, maybe warm drinks in a thermos if you can handle it. Take turns with others in your group standing outside in line. This will give each a chance to defrost, LOL! Just make sure you are all standing in line when the store opens!

Have backup people, at least one other to stand in line. I usually have 3-4, one in line, & the others going for the items wanted. Even if you end up with duplicate things, at least you will know you have what you came for.

Have cell phones & or walkie talkies. Communication is very helpful. Especially if you have backups or people going to different stores. If you have enough in your group, splitting up is a good idea.

Always have all the ads with you to check each store's policies on price matching. You must show the competitor's ads to get this. It will save time if you can get more in one place.

I have honed my skills over the years & have rarely missed out on the bargains I seek. We start out about 4-5 a.m. each year & by 8-9 a.m. we are sitting down to breakfast at McDonald's -coffee-
(our usual BF spot, LOL!) And we watch others stupidly just starting out & complaining about not getting what they went for.

To me, the most important tip is:

BE NICE! Follow the golden rule as much as possible. Chat with your fellow line members while waiting, share anything you can, offer any help you can. Believe me, most people remember this & will help you out as well & when you are a nice person, they usually don't complain about your party coming & going in line & etc. Several times while looking for something in a store, (because the item is in an area you wouldn't expect) I have had strangers take the time to show me where or give me one from their cart because they grabbed some extra. You just never know.


#20
Living4Fire

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Glue on toliet seats and now this. That's why I shop at LOWE'S!! :D



That happened here in Bakersfield.

#21
delphernina

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BE NICE! Follow the golden rule as much as possible. Chat with your fellow line members while waiting, share anything you can, offer any help you can. Believe me, most people remember this & will help you out as well & when you are a nice person, they usually don't complain about your party coming & going in line & etc. Several times while looking for something in a store, (because the item is in an area you wouldn't expect) I have had strangers take the time to show me where or give me one from their cart because they grabbed some extra. You just never know.[/b]



That's the best tip I've read so far. In my little neck of the woods most people abide by this rule, and really we all have fun and seem to get what we want. ;) BF has always been a pleasant experience for me because I am generally surrounded by pleasant people.

#22
ladybugs227

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Any new advice for this year?
Cindy

#23
3cheers

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I work at Best Buy...BF is going to be awesome. I can tell you this. Please be aware of what is and isn't most likely going to run out of stock in an hour. When we opened for the new Wii's today, We were sold out within ten minutes. And I beg for nice customers. If your getting up early and heading out to big stores, just realize that even if your there at 5 in the morning, there will be a huge line. People do camp out the night before. And be safe with camping out, people are known to get hurt camping outside the stores. Good luck!

#24
ladybugs227

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Some guy in my area was shot when camping out for the PS3. Apparently, some kids robbed those waiting in line at BB to buy the PS3. When the guy refused to give up his cash, he was shot. Hopefully more people will just stay home and buy online this year.
Cindy

#25
AllisonR

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For women, I recommend ditching the handbag or pocket book, one less thing to get in your way.


Worrying about carrying a purse around while you're running around looking for deals is a hassle BUT, you can always use your purse as a weapon on someone that gets in your way, take the last item or is an all around ass! :D (I'm totally joking!!)

#26
MrIVXX

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I was thinking about the problem with certain items going out of stock before you get there, when you don't want to wait in the freezing cold for the store to open up...

What if you were to hide (er- accidentally misplace) the item you want to purchase somewhere else in the store (preferably some low-traffic area where people never look- let's say for example, the music section for Vanilla Ice), the day before BF? Would this work, or do you think they would look at everything in their inventory and ensure they have exactly N items available on the shelves just before the sale?

I kinda doubt the employees would look through every nook and cranny of the store to find the one missing item- they may just assume it was shoplifted. So at least for some of the smaller items and those that aren't locked up behind a counter, I think this may work. I'm sure someone else has probably thought of this already... Anyone see any problems with this plan?


I have a partial answer for you...

Being a past manager of staples for 5 years, I would say this strategy totally depends on the store management and the inventory system the store or company uses.

At the 3 staples I had worked in, ALL[u] door buster items were pulled and thoroughly counted days before the final setup, then they were removed from the sales floor or into a sectioned off aisle that wasn't available for customer traffic. This prevented the hide and reward program your referred to. It used to work for software and small items, like USB thumb drives or small packs of CDrs or DVDrs, but most retailers are catching on.


Also, I heard from a co-worker here tonite, that the super walmart that is just minutes away from my work is open today, tonite, and all morning.. you see, it is a 24 hour supercenter and they didn't close for thanksgiving at all. however, all the big BF items, like the lcd tvs and video games are all in trailers next to the building, and when you enter in the morning, you have to wait in line to get a purchase voucher to buy the item(s) you want, then wait in line to checkout at the register for your voucher, then goto the trailers next to or behind the building to get what you already waited twice for and paid for. problem is, is you have to wait again, a 3rd time, all for each item. This setup prevents filling a cart with everything you want or standing next to the tv you want, and waiting for the price changes to hit the registers at 5 am

hope this helps. good luck hiding and shopping tommorrow

#27
MrIVXX

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Some guy in my area was shot when camping out for the PS3. Apparently, some kids robbed those waiting in line at BB to buy the PS3. When the guy refused to give up his cash, he was shot.



I heard / saw this story on the news, but when you guys and girls post these good stories, and weather & camping tips, you gotta say which state you are from!!!!

I am in upstate NY and going to best buy at my local mall (crossgates) isn't even worth ANY of the deals. Every year, the line to checkout is always 4 to 6 hours or more.... JUST TO CHECKOUT. thats not counting getting in, pushing and shoving to get what you came for, etc

#28
MrIVXX

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Two more Tips- I am printing out product picture page from online sites for items I want in store, that way, even if the crowd or associate can't hear you, you can just point at the 8.5x11 printout and say or motion "where is it"... they can help you from a distance without having to leave their area, and this way, you don't get sent to the wrong aisle and miss out on something that you would've been at sooner... (believe me, this always happens.... people in the store on time, but don't get what they waited for, because they follow a "pack" of people to a wrong location.... 2nd tip (duplicate from coupon thread) USPS (United States Post Offices) have "mover's guides" which is free for customers to take and intended for someone changing their mailing address. These envelopes usually contain JCPenny, and Home Depot 10% off coupons, as well as many others... :D

#29
Legace34fan

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-banana- Beware of those who tell you to purchase ahead of time, at W-M, they will pm, but will not do so if the item was bought ahead of time for bf, and most stores will only allow a 7 day price match from purchase. Ask for gift receipts for your items as you will be bound by return policy without one, and most electronic items only have a 15 day return from day of purchase, some items like cell phones have less! ALWAYS ask return policy before buying item! (cosmetics and health and beauty items may be refused return without receipt as these are high loss areas) Gift receipts will allow you or gift receiver an extra grace period after xmas for returning. Make the season sane for all!!!

#30
sweetdiggity

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Hot coffee, mega important. There is a reason travel mugs were invented. -coffee-



Couldn't agree more. Gotta have hot coffee. That smiley is so cute!



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