How to enjoy the biggest shopping day of the year

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Have you ever wondered why places such as Target, ShopKo and Wal-Mart have immensely huge parking lots that are never completely filled? Or why there are so many cashier lanes that go unused?

Well, there is one time in the year where every single one of those parking spots are filled and every cashier lane is open: the day after Thanksgiving.

On this day, numerous eager shoppers hit the stores early in the morning for the day-after-Thanksgiving sales. This event is also known as "Black Friday."

If you are considering joining this eager group of shoppers this year, there are four things to take into consideration before deciding to venture out on Black Friday.

Do your research:
Black Friday is not a day for idle shoppers; it is a day for serious shoppers. Going shopping on this day without checking in advance what specific items are on sale is pointless and will waste your time.

Be sure to research through all the ads to know exactly what you want to buy. Items sell out quickly, so knowing specifically what you’re looking for can help you get to the item before everyone else.

Prioritize what you want:
It is nearly impossible to go to different stores and be able to get popular items at both places before they sell out, so prioritize what items you want and go to that one store that benefits you the most.

Another option is to have a friend or family member wait in line at one store while you wait at another. That way you can shop for each other and take advantage of the different sales.

Prepare for a long, cold wait outside:
Dress warmly for your long wait outside the doors of your chosen store. Getting in line early is a smart move. Being one of the first ones to enter when the doors open gives you a better chance of getting an item before it sells out.

Being early also means a longer wait, so bring some games and snacks that can keep you busy. Some stores, such as Target, are generous enough to give doughnuts or other snacks to people waiting in line.

Also, be prepared for a long wait in the cashier’s line when you’re checking out.

Remember your manners while shopping:
Be courteous as you shop. Don’t ruin the holiday mood by fighting with fellow shoppers and employees. Not everyone will be high-spirited that day, but keep in mind that the other shoppers are just as sleep-deprived as you are and that employees do their best to accommodate the large amount of customers that day.

Keep these tips in mind in order to have a pleasant day-after-Thanksgiving shopping experience.