How to Win at Black Friday: A Course in Strategy and Tactics

How to Win at Black Friday: A Course in Strategy and Tactics

I’m giving away my wife’s secret Black Friday strategies and tactics. Many become frustrated with long lines, limited inventory on the big sales items, and heavy crowds, When it comes to getting the most out of Black Friday, my wife is a super trooper. She will get the lowest prices, on the most expensive items, without breaking a sweat.

If you are at all like me, you will do all your holiday shopping online. However, the diehard and committed shopper, wanting the very best deals, will brave to stampeding hordes of Black Friday with a warrior’s heart. They anticipate the occasion, hunt for unreal bargains, and push themselves until victory is achieved.

During the year, my wife is kinda laidback and casual. There is no rush to do almost anything. She will get it done, when she gets it done. But when it comes to Black Friday, she becomes an expert military strategist, and extremely disciplined and effective at timed, precision attacks. Her coordination of Black Friday operations would make General Patton proud.

Here are her strategies and tactics for winning Black Friday.

Identify Your Black Friday Targets

This is probably the most critical segment of your strategy. You must know what you want to shop for. Have the kids write a list, and cross check with their known interests and needs. Make note of the creative hints being given by your significant other or spouse. Use advanced espionage to determine what family and friends would love, but would never buy for themselves.

Create a master shopping list combining all items you will be targeting. Using a spreadsheet will make this easier. Columns can identify the recipient, the gift, the store, the sale price, and the total discount. All this information is important, and a spreadsheet will allow you to sort the data as needed.

Collect Black Friday Intel

You will need Intelligence before mapping your plan of attack. Start by collecting sales flyers and comparing prices. This will seem tedious, but is necessary for effective time management. You will need to go through each flyer carefully, comparing discounts and sales times.

If you created the spreadsheet, we can now add information about which stores, prices, sales times, and discounts. If you are familiar with  spreadsheet software, you can create a master tab and data can populate separate tabs. Having an individual list for each store can make things easier. Also, a tab for gift recipients can help to keep a spending limit, which is sometimes important when planning for children.

Map a Shopping Attack Plan

You now have times and locations for all your sale items. We have to expect that you are not going to be shopping at just one store, or one shopping mall. One must map out times and locations in order to be the most effective.

I’m giving away a real secret here. Use a routing app like Road Warrior Route Planner.  These apps are designed for those who travel, or are driving professionals. They use real time traffic information in order to map out a route. You can adapt the functions to prioritize your shopping based on location, and schedule stops accordingly. Road Warrior is a secret weapon to crush Black Friday sales.

Prepare for a Long Campaign

You should be well rested, especially if you are starting your shopping Thursday night. A partner, significant other, or maybe even the children must be recruited to cook Thanksgiving dinner. How can you be expected to shop for 12-18 hours, if you spent the whole day before slaving over a stove?

Use this time to double check your lists and schedule. You also want to check for any last minute sales announcements that may have you changing your plans.

Pack Your Gear and Rations

Have everything ready to go long before you start time. You will want all your sales flyers, any coupons, and extra bags. My wife like to have big, black trash bags in the car

You also will want to have a supply of snacks and water. There may not be time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You will still need to eat in order to keep your energy up. Stay away from candy bars and junk food. Focus on meal replacement bars, trail mix, and beef snacks.

Determine Acceptable Losses

Be prepared to not get everything on your list. As disappointing as it may be, you may have to sacrifice certain items in order to conquer another sale. Maximize your time at each location, but sometimes things are out of your control.

Keep an eye on your surroundings. A crowded store and long lines could cut into shopping time. Also don’t forget your Road Warrior app, checking for changes to traffic times.  Effective Black Friday shopping comes down to time management, and executing your scheduled attacks with care and accuracy.

Defining Black Friday Victory

Black Friday is a war of attrition, and there are several way to identify victory.

  • Did you hit every store and sale on your list?
  • How many of the items on your list were you able to get?
  • Is the amount you saved more than the amount you spent?

Assess your victories. At the end of the day on Black Friday, you will need to list your wins and losses. If there are more battles to be won, time to regroup and prepare for Cyber Monday. Good luck!!

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