The Expat Woman

5 Hot tips for shopping on Black Friday


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Black Friday Trivia

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is considered the biggest shopping “festival” in the USA. This is when Christmas shopping starts in earnest, where shoppers who are looking to score deals on their most desired items and throng the stores. Some consumers even camp out outside their favorite store so they can be the first in line when the store opens in the wee hours of the morning.

In 1966, the Philadelphia Police Department first referred to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day as “Black Friday” because of the massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks, as shoppers came out in droves to do their Christmas shopping. The term eventually spread to other cities. Abe S. Rosen, one of the country’s most experienced municipal PR executives recommended adoption of a positive approach which would convert Black Friday to Big Friday but it didn’t capture the imagination the way “Black Friday” did.

So you’ve decided to shop on Black Friday for the first time.

Here are five tips to make your Black Friday shopping expedition a roaring success.

Make your shopping list

Black Friday sales are no longer confined to the Friday after Thanksgiving. The sales have already begun. You are going to be inundated with all types of shopping deals, discounts and coupons through the mail, television and internet, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Start by making a list of all the things you want to buy for yourself, your home  or to give as gifts. lt will also help you stick to your budget and eliminate impulse buying.

Do your homework

Go to the website of the stores that you want to shop at, to check out their Black Friday deals or pre-Black Friday deals. There are also websites that are giving you sneak peeks of  Black Friday deals for the leading retail stores.,,,, These websites allow you to create wish lists, sign up for deals, alerts and coupons with merchants you want to buy from.  Compare prices of the items you want to buy at different stores, so you can make sure you get the best price.  And read up on each company’s Black Friday policies regarding refunds, returns and price-matching.

Come prepared

Because of the hoards of people on Black Friday , shopping can entail a lot of standing in line, walking in the store and  parking lot, so wear comfortable shoes. You may also have to wait outdoors before the store opens, so dress warmly in layers, so you can shed the extra layers once you are in the store.. Pack snacks and drinks to keep your energy and hydration levels up throughout the day. Buying food at the mall might not be such a good idea as there might be a long wait.

 Be safe

Watch out for pickpockets. Carry a purse with a strap long enough, so you can wear it diagonally with the purse under your arm. And carry credit cards and cash in a pocket of the purse that zips. Put your purchases in the trunk of your car if you are shopping at more than one store. If you are planning to get to the store in the early hours of the morning, take a friend along, so you have someone with you while parking your car or standing in the line outside the store.

Have fun

If this is your first experience shopping on Black Friday, stay calm and enjoy the experience. Make the most of the deals,  visit stores and witness America doing what they like doing best – shopping!

And if you aren’t able to purchase everything on your list or miss a deal, you can shop on Cyber Monday.

Happy Shopping!


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Nyna is the Founder and CEO of The Expat Woman, a global platform focused on connecting, supporting and empowering women who have moved abroad or plan to relocate. She is also a LinkedIn coach, consultant, trainer and speaker. LinkedIn played a huge role in my professional journey abroad, helping me build a network of powerful expat women and allies.

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