Nov24

Why I’m a Black Friday Shopper

It’s 4:49 on Black Friday, and I’m leaving the house to see what lurks out there in the land of people who wait in line for TVs and fight over 75 percent off socks. I’ve been doing it for years. And every Thanksgiving when I say, “Have to go home early and go to sleep so I can get up at the crack of dawn and shop,” someone asks, “Why?” And I respond the same as I do every year: Why buy what I need at regular price when I can get it on sale?” a concept I can apply to every store I need to go to in one day. Plus, by the end of that day, I’m almost always finished with all of my holiday shopping. Finished, done, done-zo. Being able to knock that out in one day is a deal in and of itself. Here’s how things went this year on my Black Friday tear.

Rule number one: The key to any good Black Friday is comfy shoes, especially if you are in it for the long haul.

This year’s adventure starts at Target, where it starts every year. The mission: toys for kiddo. Since Target decided to open on actual Thanksgiving, the place is a complete ghost town. I am in and out in about an hour. And I get overcharged twice. Once for a sale item, and once for an item that was just rung up wrong. Not cool. You get two Black Friday strikes, Target. The deals are not amazing. Toy deals never are. But they are a necessary evil, and I want to be able to get what I need while I can still find it.

Next stop, Loehmann’s. I’d read online the night before it was doing 40 percent off the entire store until 10 a.m. I score awesome gifts for hubby and family here, some stuff as little as $8.

And I get this cool Deco necklace for myself for around $12.

Hop in the car after and head to Aventorture. Fueling today’s mission: A Coke and some classic rock. On the way, I stop at Kmart to check in with the toy sitch, and I realize the prices at Target are actually $5 to $8 more expensive. A lot of the stuff I bought at Target, I re-buy at Kmart and returned to Target on my way to the mall. That’s three strikes, Target. You’re blacklisted from future Black Fridays. I also learn that if you shopped Kmart on Thanksgiving, the store did $10 Barbie sets for $2.99. I don’t believe in supporting Black Thursday (we should be at home with our families), but that’s a pretty creative way to lure people out of their houses post tryprophan binge.

Heading into the belly of the beast, Aventura Mall, around 8:30 a.m. I have to make about seven loops around the lot before I score a parking spot. Oh, what a show this is going to be.

Urban Outfitters always has some crazy sale before 10 a.m. And I always go and get tees for hubby. This year, same deal, but, unlike years past, the line isn’t wrapped around the store. I get in, get what I need and am out in less than 15 minutes.

Fact: Women love shoes. Proof: Go to any shoe store on Black Friday and just watch. Steve Madden has a scratch off of up to 40 percent off. At 20 percent off, I’m not motivated to listen to the god-awful music and endure the crazies trying on shoes.

Aldo one-ups Steve Madden by doing 50 percent off sale items. I spot these sick, sick booties from the Preen collaboration. They come out to $125. I bid them farewell, and make my way to the next stop. I am amazed at my own strength.

Based on the load of coupons and gift card I have from Macy’s, I intend to buy some stuff. And then I encounter the 50 percent off shoe sale. That’s an additional 50 percent off all clearance shoes. Plus 10 percent off if you use your Macy’s card. Plus $15 off $50 or more if you use the coupon  I also have $10 0ff if you shop before 1. And 20 percent off this, that and the other. It’s sales like these that make Black Friday worth it. At the end of all the coupon madness, you can get shoes for like $4.

Keeping this in mind, I acquire a pile. After trying all of them on, I go for the gold platform (for a dress I’ve wanted to wear for eons, but can’t find shoes to match), which I can get for literally nothing (after sales and factoring in my gift card). BUT … when I go to the claim-your-other-shoe line, I find out the gold shoe’s mate is “on the floor somewhere.” I swear this shit only happens to me. So, I set out looking for it. I look high, I look low (I literally crawled around on the floor thinking it might be under one of the shoe racks). It isn’t. A one-footed bandit has clearly jacked this shoe. Now the store is starting to get crazy, because that’s what happens as Black Friday trickles on. The lines get insane starting around 11. So, I abort the mission. But I do find it online later in the day and score it for $1.98. I have to factor in shipping, which screws up how perfect the deal could be, but at $1.98 I can’t really complain. 

On my way out of the mall, I spot a family of at least 10 in matching sweaters. Here’s a few of them. Kind of a brilliant idea so you don’t loose your herd. I tend to shop alone on Black Friday because I can’t get anyone to get up that early. But if I did, I’d deck us out in matching gear. Now that I’ve typed that no one will ever go with me ever. I just sealed my own fate.

After the mall, I hit Michael’s for some art supplies for kiddo. Turns out, it’s the best deal of the day with buy one get one free Melissa & Doug products, buy one get one half off art kits marked down from $20 to $5, 30 percent off my enture purchase and 50 percent off one item. Needless to say, I loot the place. On my way home, I drive past this mall traffic and think, “Suckers! You should have gotten up at 5.”

On the road back, I shop locally at Touch Boutique, where it’s 50 percent off accessories and 40 percent off clothes. I score these amazing going-to-wear-to-Basel finds.

Heading into the Design District, because, nope, I’m not done yet, I run into fellow bloggers Annie Vazquez, Mayleen Gonzalez and KarGar. My four-year-old, little miss Milly (who has her own blog) sees a photo shoot and jumps (Mayleen’s speciality) right in.

I close out the day at Style Ctzn, where I get a chic furry vest I’ll be sporting during the chilly (and by that I mean under 70 degree) days of Basel. Pics to come. Speaking of which, I’m hosting a shop-for-Basel party at Style Ctzn next Saturday. Deets here.

And that concludes my Black Friday. I didn’t hit up Bloomie’s or Saks or Nordstrom. Those sales tend to be best the day after Christmas. That’s when I shop for me. Today was about getting to give. Was it worth it? Save four presents I’m waiting to buy online at Cyber Monday, I got all my holiday shopping done in one day. And 90 percent of it is on sale. Yeah, I think it’s worth it. Now if you will excuse me, I have some sleep to catch up on. Tomorrow is, after all, Small Business Saturday.