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Planning Ahead For Black Friday! Do You Shop Online Or In Stores?

Posted by Ryan Owens on

Thanksgiving is here and so, too, is the much anticipated Black Friday holiday shopping event. With so many shopping options now--online, mail order, in store shopping, ordering ahead and picking up in store, etc.--it’s really a must to have a workable game plan for Black Friday.

Do you shop online or in stores? If you’re like most people, you probably do a combination of the two. So how can you make the most of this Black Friday?

Make a List (and Check It Twice!)

Being organized and having a list is the key to a MUCH less stressful shopping day! Not only should you note the essential items you want to pick up, but any special doorbuster deadline times. Having a shopping list is just the first step. Now, prioritize the list based on the order you need to go to each. This can be based loosely on geography, but more importantly on store opening times and those key end times for any special discounts.

The more people you need to buy for and the more retail stops you need to make, the more important this overall organization is going to be to keep your day on track. Keep track of the time spent at each location or try to set a maximum amount of time you want to be at each store. It’s not uncommon to have between five and ten stops to make on Black Friday. If you are the type of person who gets easily sidetracked in stores, consider setting a timer on your cell phone. Set it for 10-15 minutes before you ideally want to leave for the next location. When it buzzes, it’s time to get in line and check out.

In and Out

One essential way to think of shopping in stores and malls is the get in and get out strategy. It’s next to impossible to go into any store on Black Friday and leisurely browse the aisles. Have a game plan for each store. Which departments do you need to go to for sale items? If you are going with a spouse, family member or friend, could the two of you divide up the shopping items in a particular store so it will go faster?

Some stores, like Walmart and Kohl’s, tend to have incredibly long checkout lines during the key morning hours. Perhaps one person could get in line while the other power-shopped for the handful of doorbuster sale items?

With the pace, crowds and craziness of the day, Black Friday is done best when not worrying about having the kiddos in tow. It’s the perfect time to leave the little ones at home with Dad--who will, no doubt, be thrilled at the idea of getting to skip the shopping frenzy of this day.

Online Retail Fliers

Instead of carrying multiple sales fliers around with you or having to go to each retailer’s website for access to the list of sales items, consider using an app like Flipp. It’s free and very easy to set up, even allowing you to select your favorite stores. Simply click on that store’s flier for full access. Flipp also allows you to circle items in fliers and creates a shopping list for you! Near the bottom of the app’s screen, it has a “shopping list” icon you can click and voila! There’s your complete shopping list, conveniently separated by store.

Try Online First

You may be surprised to discover how many of these limited time deals are also available online. Avoid the madness and shop at home in your pajamas. In some instances, you may need to arrange a store pickup time; for other retailers, the items will be conveniently shipped to you. Often, these stores will also be offering either a free shipping promotion or a relatively low minimum purchase to assure free shipping.

Other Helpful Tips

No shortage of apps exist now to make the most of price comparison shopping, getting bonuses for the online shopping you do and even getting sneak peaks at Black Friday fliers days before they “officially” come out (the above mentioned Flippo has been populating with these a couple weeks before).

Another app that might prove helpful is SlickDeals. It often has unadvertised, additional bonuses. For example, a code for a percentage off shopping at specific locations and additional add-on item specials for Amazon Prime members. It also includes restaurants and you may find a great deal on food while you’re out shopping for your family. SlickDeals shows exclusive deals for things like American Express card-carrying members and gift card specials that pop up for various retailers.

If this is not already a go-to app on your phone, you might consider adding this freebie. It also allows you to specify deals you do and do not want to see--by both type and retailer. Just save each deal you might be interested in using and conveniently go back to your saved deals list to review later.

And finally, Classroom Essentials Online would like to remind you not to forget the important organizations you are a part of. Whether you are looking for new items for your church, banquet hall, school or event facility, you can find the furniture items they may be in desperate need of.


We are open on Black Friday and are here to take your phone orders at 1(866) 404-7671 and we are happy to answer all your questions about student desks and chairs, folding tables and office furniture. In the meantime, www.classroomessentialsonline.com is always available, 24/7/365, for online orders and shopping.