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Jump in! Let an Old Hand Take You on a Shopping Tour on "Black Friday"!

When talking of China’s "Singles' Day", I am sure everyone can remember that online shopping madness that occurs every year and cripples the internet. Similarly, the States has a shopping war every year that also occurs in November that is not in any way inferior to "Singles' Day": "Black Friday"! "Black Friday" usually refers to the day after Thanksgiving and it offers the biggest discounts in the US. It is a shopping opportunity that only comes around once a year. Who could control themselves? On that day, Americans will storm the shopping malls in a shopping frenzy and all the usual reserved and gentlemanly etiquette goes out the window! Some people even get there a day early and begin queuing up outside the stores in numbers not unlike those seen during China's Spring Festival rush.

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Seeing these massive queues outside shop fronts every year on "Black Friday", you have to wonder if the discounts on offer are really worth queuing for 10 or 20 hours for. After all, hourly wages in America are so high! Therefore, to save money, time and effort, clever Americans will get fully prepared well before the Thanksgiving discounts each year. At around the beginning of November end of October, many websites will start releasing information on the year's big discounts on "Black Friday". If you want to get an understanding of the dynamics of the discounts and how to acquire discount coupons, then you may as well visit the websites below!

Groupon: A famous group buying website that is dedicated to saving shoppers money! It has a whole range of discount products and will release "Black Friday" discount coupons in advance. These coupons can be used on line and in physical stores. https://www.groupon.com/coupons/events/black-friday

Coupons: Enjoys a mastery of real-time consulting and issues discount coupons at different times for various products in many large-scale shopping malls, especially during the shopping frenzy on "Black Friday". https://www.coupons.com/black-friday/

The Black Friday: Of the people; for the people. One of the most popular American websites for advertising and marketing information concerning "Black Friday". https://www.theblackfriday.com/black-friday-coupons.shtml

Slickdeals: Serving the lazy! This website's experts filter discount information that netizens discover, compare them with previous prices and then publish information on the best deals out there on their home page. During "Black Friday" they also send this information to registered users in advance. https://slickdeals.net/blackfriday/

Ebates: A famous American online cash back shopping mall where purchasers can receive cash back on the discount information they release during "Black Friday". These coupons can be used online as well as in physical stores. The more you spend, the more you get back! There is just no way to stop! http://www.ebates.com/black-friday-coupons.htm

Keep Comparing Prices, Especially for Electrical Goods and Household Appliances

Of course, the bargain goods on sale during "Black Friday" are not necessarily the cheapest and the discounts on offer are not necessarily the biggest. Generally speaking, the quantity of electrical goods and household appliances are the most limited goods on promotion as well as being the items featured most prominently and with the biggest discounts compared to fixed retail prices. If you are already determined to buy electrical goods or household appliances, then you should research various sellers’ "Black Friday" advertising, compare brands and prices, and take advantage of this opportunity to make more purchases.

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Some have managed to purchase a silver Sony 15.5 inch laptop, an HP 23 inch desktop computer with a printer thrown in for free all at half price. Others have used LG's packaged sales promotion to buy an LG 3360 washing machine and dryer with a five years' guarantee at 40% off. Costco Dyson vacuum cleaners are usually around 30% cheaper on "Black Friday". No one who has bought any household appliances on "Black Friday" and savored that sweet taste will ever be able to go back to paying full price for things!

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Clothes, bags, makeup and so on, things that all women love, are not really on shoppers' minds during this period as there are many other opportunities during the year to pick up bargains. The biggest discounts for these products can be found before and after the seasons change. Added to that the fact that they are normally already cheap enough with the odd additional discount, then it is really not worth going out of your way on a day like this for such small savings. There are many other products like this, such as furniture. While there are discounts for these products on "Black Friday", there are other times in the year when these discounts are much bigger, so it is best to wait for a better opportunity to make your move. Therefore, I would not recommend anyone joining in the turmoil and fighting to get their hands on clothing or bags.

Understanding Business Hours on "Black Friday"

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Before you plan on making any purchases, you should find out different shops’ business hours on "Black Friday"! I cannot emphasize this enough! Different businesses run different business hours on "Black Friday", and these can change each year. Best Buy, for example, opened at five in the morning on the year before last, but 12 midnight last year. Walmart is an even crazier example. They opened at 10 o'clock on Thursday evening, secretly opening before "Black Friday" had even begun. If you do not confirm opening times in advance, chances are there will be nothing but an empty building left by the time you get there.

Lock onto Your Targets’ Location Before the Battle Begins

Confirming where the product you want to buy is located in the store is essential, especially if it is a limited discount product, as you will face many competitors. It is not enough to merely check out the advertising and prices. Getting to your item first while others are still lost in the chaos is key. You want to get in and get your item as quickly as possible so that you are not aimlessly wasting your time and end up with nothing. Therefore, if you have time it is a good idea to go to the store beforehand and locate your target. Walking through the crowds who look on at the spoils of war in your arms with envy is an overwhelming sense of accomplishment!

Setting out Your "Black Friday" Battle Plan

What if you plan on buying a lot and the stores you need to get to are too far away from each other? The best plan is to make a simple time table.

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Most Americans will work out a route based on when different stores open and how far away they are. They then write down each of the items they plan on buying in each store as a reminder. With this and the discount coupons they have acquired, they are ready to enter the field of battle!

Popular Stores on "Black Friday"

Best Buy: As popular as deep-fried chicken, Best Buy primarily sells 3C products. Every year on "Black Friday" they will offer several items on sale at crazy-low prices, such as a Sharp 42 inch LDE TV for USD$199, so the longest queues are always found here. (http://www.bestbuy.com/

Macy's: America's number one department store, Macy's always has discounts on kitchenware, pots and pans, bedding, furniture, and even clothing, shoes, accessories and such like on "Black Friday". (http://www1.macys.com/

Sears: Another department store famous for large household appliances. (http://www.sears.com/content/shc/sears/en_chn.html)。

JCpenney: A fair-price department store offering a wide variety of inexpensive but of average quality goods. Good for picking up small items. (www.jcpenney.com

Target: A fair-price hypermarket that sometimes has good offers on electrical goods. (http://www.target.com/

Walmart: A cheap hypermarket. Everyone is perfectly familiar with their prices. On "Black Friday" many items are virtually free, so every year the crowds are immense. In terms of the shopping experience, there is certainly nothing enjoyable about it, but it is still worth it for the bargains on offer. (https://www.walmart.com/

Home Depot: A furniture maintenance supplies hypermarket that sells quality products for everything related to households. (www.homedepot.com/

Costco: Not much needs to be said about Costco. It is a membership-only hypermarket with quality products at low prices. On "Black Friday" they give away a Costco recipe book for all customers, teaching them how to turn their products into a variety of dishes. Sometimes they will hold a "Smash’n’grab". At a certain time on the Thursday before "Black Friday", the store will start selling products online at the same price as in the store with free delivery, meaning that lazy buyers can avoid making the journey the following day. However, it is not as suitable for fanatical shoppers who like to touch something when they buy it and get it immediately. (http://www.costco.com/)

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The Importance of Coordination

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If you plan on visiting a lot of stores on "Black Friday", then chances are you will not be getting any sleep that night, so it is important to get a good night's sleep the night before to build up your energy. You need at least two people and the more of you there are, the more you will be able to get your hands on. Nothing good will come of trying to go this alone and it is easy to come back empty handed. No matter which store it is, the queues for paying for your items on "Black Friday" are incredibly long. At least one person should start queuing when you get there while the others should rush to find the products they want. If you are after clothing and need to use the changing rooms, then someone also has to join that queue. Everything needs to be done according to your battle plan and as soon as you are finished in one shop, you must head immediately to the next one on the list.

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If you discover that you have arrived too late and that someone in front of you has just taken the product you wanted, and if you are really, really not willing to let this item get away from you, then pluck up the courage, put away your shame and ask the person in front how much they would be willing to sell it for. If you meet someone nice, you might not have to pay that much extra to get it, but if you meet a professional seller there for the profits, then play it by ear. If it becomes unreasonable, than do not buy it; there is always next year. However, there is never any harm in asking. If you do not have to pay too much extra, then you are still getting a good deal!

Being a Rational Consumer

The potency of "Black Friday" lies in the sales promotions that businesses deliberately have on a number of popular products. This attracts the huge crowds. However, these products are always in very limited supply. When they are gone, they are gone. Many in the large crowds that turn up to the stores will fail to get their hands on these promotional items, but having been through the nightmare of squeezing in there, they are certain to check out the other discount products on offer. While the discounts on these products are not as mouthwatering, making a saving, no matter how big, is a good way to make up for the disappointment of missing out on those real bargains. The consumers' attention falls on the other discount items in the store, and this is where the businesses’ real interest in "Black Friday" lies; the promotional items that they lose money on are merely the bait.

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So it is essential to be a rational consumer when you are shopping. Admits these businesses’ clever marketing ploys, we have to stick to our principles. It really is not worth going out of your mind every year. A lot of big discount sales are mere illusions. Their goal is to get everyone hooked on to the experience, to get that hit from consuming, but in reality, whether you really can get bargains depends on how good you feel about yourself. Some people really like the feeling of buying tons of stuff and making big savings. However, you have to buy things that really are a lot cheaper than usual, and things that you really do like or need, to really have gotten anything out of the day.

Final Words:

Most of America's large department stores are chain stores. Taxes and discounts vary in stores in different states. As for business hours, there are various different time zones in the US, so you need to choose which store to visit as well as understand the different discount coupons and issuance policies of different businesses. Apart from the websites mentioned above for reference, any queries should be done locally.

Destination: USA

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