Many stores now have a lot of their items available on-line. Now, if Wal-Mart is selling 15 laptops at $198 each, NO- those won't be on-line. But lots of the toys, clothing and housewares are available on-line. Get your mouse ready and plop your butt on the couch with your laptop- the sales go on-line at different times, but it's a safe bet to start checking for the Eastern time zone. And then it's refresh, refresh, refresh.
But don't just think you can leisurely browse and get what you want. You need a game plan. Start studying the ads now (they're just starting to come out). Decide what items are most important to you- generally I look for at least a 50% off savings. You'll want to add these first, and check out fast. Items sell out in no time (and trust me, it's really maddening when items in your cart are no longer available). Make sure that you have an account registered and your payment info stored for a speedy check out.
One last thing to consider (are you still there? Almost done!) are those pesky shipping charges. Scoring all those good deals won't be worth it when you see a $70 shipping charge (true story, TOYS R US). Wal-Mart has some great shipping deals. 2 years ago I bought a GPS there which shipped for 98 cents. Toys R Us, like I said, has some of the most ridiculous shipping fees (and it is the worst store to go to on Black Friday! Do not attempt!). Fortunately, they have a service called ShopRunner (this is not an affiliate link). It's a shipping service similar to Amazon Prime. For $79 a year, you get free 2-day shipping to TRU and a few other random stores. But $79 is a lot of money just for free shipping on most TRU items- therefore, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU CANCEL YOUR FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP BEFORE THE 30 DAYS ARE UP. It's what I did last year, and it worked perfectly. I was even able to make multiple orders as different items became available, and my items came super fast!
WHEW, that was a lot of info for one post. I hope I haven't scared you off Black Friday shopping even more then you already may have been. I'm not sure if I'll be heading out to the stores this year or not. It may be my year to shop from my comfy couch.
Have any good Black Friday stories to share?