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How to Beat Black Friday Like a Video Game Character
It’s getting to be that time of the year again. Yes, it’s Black Friday—that one day out of the year when consumers become bloodthirsty hordes in a battle royale for stuff. Like any bargain bin video game though, Black Fridays are made to be beaten. Before you brave the crowds, find out how you too can beat the holiday rush in ten easy steps and speed run your way from the front doors to the parking lot with your sanity intact.
1. Do a reality check
So, you’re really serious about this whole “Black Friday” thing, right? Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s just take a deep breath and think about this for a minute. Do you really need more stuff for yourself and the people in your life?
Give them something from the heart. Give them that warm hug that’s long overdue or tell a special someone those three little words they’ve been dying to hear. Make the ones you love know it. Call your mom. Call your dad. This life is short, folks. You don’t have to make this holiday expensive. Make it memorable. Why not find some ways to help them add some memories rather than stuff to their lives?
You don’t need more stuff. You already have it all…except there was that one thing you really do have to have. Okay, fine. Just don’t be the person that waited until Black Friday—unless you already are. Of course you are. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. In the absence of good Wi-Fi (See Rule 11) all you’re left with now is wrestling with the masses for that iPad you didn’t get last month. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
2. Study Up
Know your enemy and know yourself and you’ll never fear a thousand shoppers with carts from hell. This should be you planning your attack like a general laying battlefield tactics. This isn’t just another Call of Duty map. This is retail. Pin up some blueprints and hit ‘em where it hurts: right in their aisles. Know where every item on your list is prior to your invasion and that intel will pay off when the doors open.
3. Come prepared
Only the smart survive the holiday madness, and for you that means doing your homework. If it’s wanting that gets so many folks in trouble, then want not. Find your store catalogs. Check your newspaper ads. Clip those coupons. Know what’s on sale, who’s selling it, and when your stuff’s on sale. Some stores have their Black Friday sales going on all day, but others keep them going for only a few hours. Make a list, check it twice, and hit the road with a good hand to deal.
4. Find a buddy system
These next shopping tests require cooperation. Consequently, they’ve never been solved by one alone. That’s where a friend comes in. You two don’t know pride; you don’t know fear. You don’t know anything. A friend by your side is perfect. Have them trade places with your in line or keep a place at the bathroom. Now you’re thinking like shoppers.
The cold, howling winds are at your back and that sleeping bag of yours is ten times less comfortable than when you were ten. You pass the time studying ye olde tomes of shopping lore, browsing ads, and circulars. You fold your emergency cash into origami hats you’ll never wear. The murk shifts and stirs…yet another stands before you. Then so be it, for the curse of life is the curse of want—of Rice Krispies and Coke. And so, you peer into the night, in hope of answers, in hope of open doors.
The moment of truth. The doors are opening. Now’s your chance. Gird your loins like they’ve never been girded before and run. Run like hell. Run like you’re running away from your last decade of bad games. You’ve gotta go faster than the schmo on your left lunging for Edge of Tomorrow. You’ve gotta be the fastest thing alive. Look. Grab. Go. Repeat. All those days of playing games on the couch telling yourself you’d never do anything physical caught up with you tonight. This isn’t a game anymore. This is retail.
7. Stay Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Discretion is then paramount to every shopper. You must walk the aisles freely: seen, but unseen. You too must learn to blend and become one with the crowds. Fat people, tall people, old people—these are your allies blending with the masses. Be wary of the suburban mom and ten-year-old, for they can identify even the stealthiest bargain hunter. Do these and you will not be deterred, nor will your targets escape your line of sight.
8. Take a breather
Remember that deep breath we took together in Rule 1? Yeah, it might be time to take another one. No, you’re not playing The Hunger Games; you’re playing the shop-‘til-you-drop, only you don’t wanna do the latter. You’re (probably) not a zombie and in the absence of available brains, you’re also (probably) still a human being, in spite of the adrenaline pulsing through your veins. Be like Kirby. Think with your stomach and go eat something before you start chewing on your own gifts. Teeth-marked packages never make appealing gifts.
9. Fight another day
You can’t be a wuss and think that you have a fighting chance against the teeming masses. These people will elbow, kick, and pinch like it was the apocalypse to get whatcha-ma-call-it Elmo doll that’s out this year, so choose your battles wisely. You should’t be intent on making do-or-die life choices. Not so much as the console war is concerned, anyway. Don’t be a space invader when it comes down to parking, and don’t worry about that douche that stole your spot in line. Smile! You’re shopping!
10. To the victors go the spoils…?
You came, you saw, you conquered. That day called Black Friday is behind you. Rest easy, shoppers. You won. Your rewards are but the plastic bags at your side filled with the stuff of materialist joy. So goes the triumph of American consumerism…
…If only you had realized it could’ve all waited ‘til you rolled out of bed on Cyber Monday. Good luck next year.
Tell us: Are you braving the chaos of Black Friday this year or does that Cyber Monday with the pooch sound a whole lot better to you? Or have you already done your holiday shopping for another year? Share your thoughts down below!