Whether you’re a diehard Black Friday shopper who is first in line when Walmart opens their doors, or if you stage a silent boycott every year, there’s no ignoring Black Friday. And while you diehards have your strategy in place, you newbies might need a tip or two if you plan to do some shopping.

 

  1. Make a List

Black Friday shopping can be overwhelming, so if you want to avoid going off the rails and buying a bunch of gifts you don’t need, don’t keep your list in your head. Instead, use a gift list app, like Gifted (free iOS & Android) to keep track of recipients, their likes, dislikes and sizes, and your gift ideas and budget.

 

  1. Sign up for store emails

Now is a great time to sign up to receive emails from the stores you might want to hit on Black Friday. You might be privy to advance details on sales or “private” discounts. Set up a separate free email account to capture all that mail – there’ll be a lot of it. Following these stores on Twitter or Facebook can also keep you in the know.

 

  1. Focus

You can’t do all your shopping in one day. Historically, the deepest Black Friday discounts are on electronics, apparel and beauty products, so instead of trying to conquer your holiday list all at one, focus on those three areas and tackle the other categories later.

 

 

  1. The Early Bird Bonus

If you’re game for getting up at the crack of dawn to line up at a store, you could be well rewarded. In previous years, stores like H&M, Best Buy and JCPenney have handed out goodies like gift cards and even movie tickets to folks at the front of the line.

Also, if you can, bring a friend! Compare lists and help each other out. You dash off to electronics to grab discounted Apple Watches and she can check out those doorbuster beauty deals you read about.

 

  1. Don’t Ignore Online

If you just can’t bear the thought of fighting the crowds for deals on Black Friday, stay in, grab a cup of coffee, and check out the online deals. Etailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, NewEgg and Best Buy are your best bet, as year after year, they have offered Black Friday-worthy deals online. Those with brick and mortar counterparts, like Walmart, Target and Best Buy, may have exclusive in-store deals that you could miss out on, but that’s what you get for not going.