mod men

Mod Guide 5 : Black Friday.

Posted in Uncategorized by modman on November 26, 2009

All Crazy.

Black Friday requires more strategy than just going out at 4am, waiting in line, and shopping till the sun rises. Make sure you keep this guide in mind.. it will save you time and money!

Its a long post, but definitely worth the read. Be equipped with the right information, the right tools, and the right attitude. It will make a difference.

Expect The Worst!
Prepare yourself mentally first. There will be a lot of people. They will be pushy. They will be rude. They will be slow. They will be on the phone, screaming at their girlfriends to run over to Barneys. There will be cranky, sleepy, whiny children and husbands. There will be traffic, lots of cars, honking, and bad drivers. If you’re tired or not willing to deal with any of these situations, stay home! If you think you have it in you to fight through, then make sure you have patience and keep your eyes on the goal (whatever deal that may be). Seriously, it will make all the difference. You’ll come home happy with your purchase and happy that you were prepared. Here are some stats to put things in perspective:

Black Friday is expected to attract up to 134 million shoppers this year, the National Retail Federation reports.  Their survey — just out today — says 57 million people say they will definitely hit the stores, while another 77 million are waiting to see what retailers plan to offer.

“With retailers fully aware that shoppers are looking for incredible deals, Americans can expect huge sales on popular items like toys, electronics and apparel,” says Tracy Mullin, NRF president and CEO.

In any case, the true-believers — one in ten shoppers — say they will get to the store  between midnight and 3 a.m.

But 27%  will shop online.

USA Today

Know what you want/need before you go shopping. Without having a set list of what you want to find/max prices you are willing to pay, you’ll go gaga over the low prices, especially this Black Friday. Reports anticipate an increase in 20% foot traffic. Yikes! People will be pushy so knowing what you want/how much you are willing to pay will save you time. Tip: make your list after Thanksgiving dinner! The fuller you are, the less likely you are to put a lot of things on your list (since you’re full and satisfied). This is also true for the day of Black Friday! Eat breakfast. A big one. Eat lots of leftovers. There have been studies based on shoppers hunger and how much they buy. Take snacks if you know you’ll get hungry in the am.

Designate a MAX price you are willing to pay for a blazer, shirt, jeans, or any other item. If you get to J.Crew and the boots you wanted are over your limit, leave the store empty-handed. Chances are, you’ll be able to find a similar style at other places like Aldo or Steve Madden (they are usually spot on with trends) for cheaper.

When making your list, think about investment pieces! Yeah, t-shirts may be going for $10, but if you get four, your total is already over $40. Think about items that you are missing in your closet (fitted classic white button down, black/navy blazer, wool/cotton dress pants, khakis, dark/black denim, etc). Make sure you think about how much you are willing to pay for choices. Just because it’s Black Friday doesnt mean that everything is necessarily cheaper. Remember to think about which stores you want to go to as well. Its great to get discounts, but do you really need further discounts at Forever 21? To get the most out of your money, you are better off going to higher end stores and take advantage of prices that you couldn’t have afforded if it wasnt Black Friday. Makes more sense than going to affordable stores and buying items that you could have afforded in the first place.

Just because a pant or jacket is cheap doesnt mean you should get it.. especially if it doesnt FIT! Low prices are great, but if it doesnt fit well, I guarantee you that those shoes (that are one size too big) will sit in your closet by this time next year. I can speak from experience. I purchased a too-large coat two Black Fridays ago, and I had to pay to get it tailored to fit. I didnt even end up saving that much, since I had to get it altered!

Go with friends/family who you know will be critical/blunt. People on Black Friday wear “deal goggles”. These people have a tendency to tell you to buy every item that you’ve picked out (even if its ugly!) To them, cheap price > how it looks. Not good.

Look up ads, see where you can get the best prices, and take the ads with you to make sure retailers are giving you what they promised.

They are made to get you in through the door!

A splash of reality from The Wall Street Journal: “Retailers are trumpeting great deals on televisions heading into Black Friday, but the steepest discounts this year are limited to a few sets as promotional activity is less frantic than a year ago.”

Dont forget, much of the merchandise that retailers have on Black Friday are overstock. Some stock has been sitting in warehouses/back of stores from previous seasons. If you care about what season a piece of clothing is from, then make sure you know how much it should be going for.If you dont care about who the designer is/what season its from, then shop till you drop!

A lot of the clothes and merchandise that dont sell during Black Friday will go on clearance soon enough. Black Friday just marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Just because there are incredible sales doesnt mean its worth it to venture out after a good dinner and wait in the cold. For all the tronics lovers, Cyber Monday is just as big of a deal as Black Friday. If you dont really have a preference as to which brand USB or navigation console you want, then why not wait for further savings?

The New York Times examines an all-out price war between Amazon and Wal-Mart — and the implications for the future as the slugfest spreads through product areas like books, movies, toys and electronics.

Return Policies
When I go shopping, I make sure I know the return policy. Sometimes, I buy things because I know I have the option of returning it in 30 days. Some stores are 14 days (which is a annoying), and some clearance items are final sale only. If you are thinking about buying something and arent sure of the return policy for Black Friday, ASK! You dont want to buy a $300 mini-laptop and find out that you dont have the option of returning it.

15 Best Return Policies

Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdales, Costco, Ikea, Kmart, Kohl’s, L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, Lowe’s, Nike, Nordstrom,, Sam’s Club,,

13 Not-So-Hot Return Policies has strict limitations on what can be returned (no computers after 30 days, for example) and a 15% restocking fees for computers and fine jewelry.

BJ’s has a great in-store returns policy, but the website is full of gotchas. And another catch: “ reserves the right at any time after receipt of your order, without prior notice to you, to supply less than the quantity you ordered of any item.” only gives you 15 days to return and there’s a 15% restocking fee.

Boscov’s has lots of restrictions, especially on big items like mattresses. Plus there are restocking fees on some items. gives you 30 days from the date your product left the warehouse to ship it back, regardless of when you actually received the item.

Dillard’s requires a receipt or proof-of-purchase label and packaging on returns. makes it a huge pain to send something back after 30 days.

Finishline does not accept returns after 45 days, even if your shoes have a manufacturer’s defect.

Home Depot does not accept returns on some items and no online items can be returned in-store.

Macy’s has lots of limitations on items from furniture to jewelry. For example, any rings besides women’s size 7 and men’s size 10.5 are considered custom and no custom sizes may be returned.

Office Depot gives you only 14 days for electronics and furniture. has lots of restrictions. For example, you can’t return TVs over a certain size. is really strict on the condition of the item to be returned. The package must be unmarked and not defaced to qualify for a full refund.

USA Today

Be in control. Do not be the victim.

Happy shopping! But more importantly, Happy Thanksgiving. Although its sad that society is so busy to stop and be thankful every single day, but at least we have today to really reflect and think about how blessed we are.


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