Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive


On the day after Thanksgiving (actually, at many stores, the night of Thanksgiving), Black Friday shopping kicks off the holiday gathering season. Sales are at their best (business booms into the black on the ledger pages, get it?) and shoppers' manners are at their worst. Here are three simple steps to help get you through Black Friday shopping safe, sound and savvy.


For successful Black Friday shopping, it's important to come up with a strategy. First, figure what's on your shopping list, then, set a limit to your spending. This preparation decreases your chance of splurging on items you really don't need. Next, do some research. Find out which stores have the best deals for the items on your list. Newspaper inserts are a great way to compare prices, but you can also check online.

Set alarm accordingly

When do you want to wake up? Nearly all stores set time limits on their best sale prices, so waking up past 10 a.m. could cost you. Most stores open by 5 a.m., but some may open at 3, or this year as early as right after your big meal. Waking up early or, depending on the store, cutting that post dinner nap short, is a must. If you're motivated enough, however, you may consider camping out in front of a store through the night. The pluses? Some stores offer additional bargains for these hardy customers.

Avoid crowds

I understand that sometimes it's impossible to steer clear of large groups of people - especially if everyone wants a specific item - but Black Friday brings out the worst in people. To avoid injury, try your best to stay away from mobs of people. This could mean going later and gambling that stores will replenish inventory throughout the day. If you do find yourself in a swarm of pushy customers, don't let them overpower you. Stay tough and keep moving, and remember no shopping coup is worth endangering yourself.

* * *

A piece of the Black Friday pie

tb-two* conducted a totally random survey of 100 students in the Tampa Bay area to find out about their post-Thanksgiving plans this year.

22 percent wouldn't be caught dead shopping that day

78 percent said 'yes, bring onthe bargains'