Serious about Black Friday

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Why ruin a perfectly good holiday by inviting the headache of crowds, sales associates and sleep-deprivation? For some, it’s all about getting a Christmas gift on super-sale for that special someone. Others just like the right of being able to say they got their latest gadget at half price. But for many shoppers, the thrill and rush of spending Thanksgiving evening, night and the entire next day in a tent camped out in front of the local Wal-Mart is worth it all.

Black Friday is the aftermath of November’s third Thursday, created by businesses to get shoppers up and at ’em in the early morning hours to participate in what has become the busiest shopping day of the year.

Despite the stress the day inevitably creates, each Black Friday shopper continues to make plans to frequent the events.

John-David Sorensen, 22, from Pleasant Grove said the rush is addictive.

“I like to compete, and knowing I got a ‘hot’ item makes that day worth it for me,” Sorensen said.

“I just do it for fun and for the thrill of finding the best bargain,” said Michaela Peringer, 22, from Auburn, Wash.

“It’s all about the thrill, the excitement and the rush,” said Madeline Ashcraft, 18, from Orem.

Sarah Caringella Ross, 20, from Pleasant Grove said she loves the thrill and the competition.

“I love going because that’s where I do my Christmas shopping and I truly love giving gifts,” Ross said.

These shoppers all agree it’s a good day to attack the Christmas shopping list. Ross said during Thanksgiving afternoon, her family creates a plan using ads they’ve collected.

“As the turkey is cooking, my mom and all the participants are gathered together forming a battle plan,” she said. “After Thanksgiving dinner we grab our pie, hot cocoa, camping chairs and caffeinated drinks and set off.”

Black Friday is not a day for procrastinators. The day is about serious seeking.

“Know what you’re looking for,” Peringer said. “Black Friday is not the time to browse. You don’t want to get caught lagging or walking too slowly on Black Friday. People can get nasty when they’re sleep deprived and looking for something.”

Some refer to a map to promote effectiveness. Sorensen said he creates a map before he even gets in line. He said he follows the route in his head after prioritizing his prospective purchases. Some big stores pass out maps a few hours before the items go on sale.

This shopping day is not for the faint of heart. Black Friday veterans share their biggest tips with any who might be interested.

“Make sure you’re up for the challenge before you set foot in the store,” Peringer said. “Never go alone. It’s all about teamwork. You can split up the store, but make sure your cell phones are charged. You want to be as effective and efficient as possible.”

Sorensen also takes others to ensure each task receives proper attention. Persistence is another necessary trait of Black Friday shoppers.

“One huge tip is to ask the employees questions, such as where will the TVs be located? Most won’t tell you, but one will crack if you are persistent,” Ross said.

Also, after a holiday centered on food it is imperative that snacks make it on the list of tag-a-longs for the adventure.

“I would recommend bringing snacks,” Peringer said. “Your stomach will be all stretched out from Thanksgiving dinner and you don’t want to waste time and money on fast food.”

And of course each shopper has those few tips unique to every Black Friday experience.

“If you need to get across a big store like Wal-Mart or Target quickly, go through the underwear aisle,” Peringer said. “No one buys underwear on Black Friday, plus it’s usually located in the middle of the store, so it’s accessible.”

Ultimately, while determination is important, shoppers should know they might not meet all their goals. The end goal should not only be productivity, but a good time.

“I have to remind myself that I’m not always going to get what I want, which is OK due to the fact that the experience is enough excitement in and of itself,” Ashcraft said.

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