By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for mobile SWAT shopping cart
Judging by the massive preparations going on, you would think the 8th US Army battalion was preparing for a twenty-five mile hike or Elvis had been discovered living in Greenland and tickets were going on sale in thirty-six hours for his next live concert. Actually, it is just previous Black Friday Survivors getting ready to launch their next shopping spree.
Food, gum, bottled water, a camp stool, bungee cords (for attaching two shopping carts together), and a thermos of coffee are crammed into a duffle bag and strapped onto their backs. Others are perfecting their fake limp in order to snag a handicapped scooter at Wal-Mart. Still others are preparing by sleeping an extra eight hours two days before the sale starts.
The first rule for Black Friday Shopping is to plan ahead. Several online Black Op sites feature comparison shopping, store maps, launch times, and a printable list for the what, when, where, and time for each store's specials as well as links to cyber sales that may or may not coincide with Black Friday or the alignment of Mars and Jupiter.
Once you have your plan of attack, it is time to suit up. Boots with steel toes are recommended if you plan to battle it out for the latest electronic must-haves; otherwise your best arch-support-long-term-standing-in-line-NASSA-designed-foam-lined-gel-tennis shoe will suffice. Outer wear should support sub-zero temperatures if you are waiting outside in a line six blocks long. Inner wear should support tropical approaching desert temperatures to compensate for the body heat of ten times the maximum capacity of persons in any given store at any given time.
The plan is to arrive at the first shopping stop at least five hours before the official sale starts. Sometimes rooky salespeople will panic at the sight of a restless mob and begin giving out vouchers, armbands, or secret locations of the "real" TV's, computers, I-Pads etc. Hint: If you are a retired airline stewardess, veteran air traffic controller, or former kindergarten teacher, you can usually pick up some part time work on Black Friday working crowd control.
Here are a few lesser known tips for Black Friday Shopping that I have gleaned from past Black Friday Sales Survivors.
- Always shop with a partner. If there is a limit on the number of items you can purchase, you have an extra person to buy the additional items needed. Also you can swap out if you need to make a potty run.
- Make sure your i-phone is powered up for any online specials or E-bay auction items. This is also necessary for communicating with other operatives located in nearby stores
- If a particular item is not at the top of your list, wait until the frenzied shoppers have decimated the pile, and then circle your buggy in a six aisle radius. Often when mob crazed shoppers come to, they realize they don't need six waffle makers or portable DVD players and will dump them on the nearest shelf. I found $3 mixer on the underwear aisle that way
- If the shelves were empty before you got what you needed, hang out around the check-out lines. Many sale items will be eliminated at the register due to maxed out credit cards.
- Security knows nothing. If you want information, ask a person with a walkie-talkie attached to their belt, ear phones on, wearing a really ugly vest, and preferably standing on a ladder with a bull horn. If that fails, follow the buggy with the most items in it or the person wearing the camo t-shirt with BARGAIN SHOPPER embellished in crystal dots.
By following these simple tips, you , too, can spend the next eleven months paying off your credit card in order to take advantage of the next Black Friday Shopping Op!