A week from today, once our bellies are full of Turkey, a sinister darkness will descend over the US. THE LURE OF BARGAIN PRICES.
I understand the pull. Remember, I ran with the brides to score my Vera Wang wedding gown at a 60% markdown. The force of half-off is strong, but this is one time of year it’s best to resist.
My advice is to not leave your house on Black Friday for any reason, and use the money you save on medical bills to shop online like a normal person. Still, if you absolutely must risk your life in hopes of nabbing a 75″ TV you can’t possibly see all of at once for 70% off, below are a few tips to up your chances of escaping limbs intact.
1. Wear protective gear and keep your back to a wall.
I learned this the hard way at a Greenday concert in 1993 and scored a foot-print sized bruise on my ribcage to prove it, but the lesson could easily be applied to Black Friday. Placing yourself towards the middle of an eager crowd for a better spot will put you in the line of fire in the event of a trampling situation. The closer you are to the front, the more likely you are to get trampled, so consider setting up camp somewhere where you’ve got your back to a wall for the leverage you’ll need to stay on your feet and out from under everybody else’s. And know your weaknesses. If you’ve got a bunk knee get over looking old and put on that knee brace. Otherwise you’re just going down twice as easy. And I’m just saying…no one ever got their head kicked in with a sturdy helmet on. (Actually, I have no idea if that’s true.)
2. Do your recon. Know the merchandise.
People train all year for sales like this, so don’t think you’re just going to waltz in there cold with a tent and a carafe of coffee at the crack of dawn and snag that discounted PS4. Do you know the layout of the store? Making a left when Electronics is to the right could cost you the deal you slept in a parking lot for. Do you know how many of the item you’re looking for are in stock? Did you bring enough team members to collect each item on your list at once? Have they been briefed? C’mon rookie. Organized shopping saves lives…and Benjamins.
3. Elbows out, feet apart.
You want to create a six inch oxygen window on each side of yourself. Have you seen PeopleofWalmart.com? Trust me; oxygen window.
4. It ain’t over ’til someone gets their weave ripped out.
Keep your guard up. Once you’ve made it safely through the front doors, there still might be a lunatic with mace who wants the XBox you’re holding. Look alive, stay alive.
5. Pick a good breakfast spot for afterwards that normally has too long a line for you to ever wait in after 8am.
That way if you don’t get what you were shopping for you can drown your sorrows in pancake syrup and sacrificing a morning of your vacation might still feel worth it.
[No seriously, don’t leave your house on Black Friday is my only advice. I have no idea about any of these other things. Except breakfast. You can always count on breakfast.]