I've always had a feeling that Sam Walton invented Walmart, but I've never been able to back that out with research. Walmart and Black Friday do go hand-in-hand. Walmart usually offers the best deals...deals that can save you hundreds. Walmart offers them early, with doorbusters running from 5 a.m-10 a.m. And Walmart has a big stock of many items but not enough. Hence, the frenzied shopping video that surfaces.
The pros and cons of Black Friday shopping is a whole different topic. If you decide to go, here's what you need to know.
1. Get up early and get to Walmart.
No need to worry about your hair or anything like that. Grab some pop-tarts that you can eat in the car after you've secured a parking space. (Seriously, if you get there about the same time as the sales start, expect to drive around an while looking for a parking space. Bring another shopper who can go in and do the shopping. If you're a late wiser, and think about arriving at Walmart at 7 a.m., don't even bother.
2. Check to see what's available online.
Walmart does offer some of the Black Friday specials online. These will be specified in the newspaper circular. If you can't or don't want to shop in person, the same rules apply online. Shop early and be ready to be patient. walmart.com can be very slow on Black Friday and many items do sell out quickly. Items usually offered on walmart.com include toys and some small electronics and housewares.
3. Have a 24-hour Walmart?
Some of my friends have had luck shopping in teams and arriving early. You'll be handed a map showing the location of the doorbusters (and they're everywhere...Baby Alive may be stacked up in the produce section). If you've got friends that want to get the same thing, send each to a station with the task of getting four or five of the product.
4. Cooperate With Other Shoppers
Last year, I was able to get so many $2 movies just by cooperating with other shoppers. When the brown bag was finally revealed, we all started calling out the names of the movies in front of us and swapping. Worked out well. Geez...happy shoppers helping each other out at Walmart at 5 a.m. No, it wasn't a dream.
5. Make a primary and secondary list.
The primary list should have the toys, etc. that you absolutely can't do without...the things your kids expect under the tree. The secondary list can have the items that would just be good bargains if you've gotten your secondary items. Last year, these included $7 Levi jeans, $2 towels (nice and thick), $3 children's pajamas, rubbermaid sets. You get the picture. Nice gifts for aunts, uncles, etc. Plus extras that your children need like sweats.
6. Look around at the check-out counter.
This is probably the most important tip for shopping Walmart on Black Friday. Don't give up when you get in line. I'm always amazed at the number of shoppers who have a change of heart. And, in the frenzy, it's easy to end up with two of an item or realize you've more in your buggy than you can pay for. Many shoppers end up putting one or two or three items back when they get to the register. Look in the areas where candy is usually kept, look piled on at the endcaps or maybe even in an abandoned bugger in between lines. Last year, several things were being passed around among shoppers.
Thanks for reading my advice for shopping at Walmart on Black Friday. I hope it helps. Here's some more articles on Black Friday that will help you prepare for one of the best bargain days of the year: