Shoppers prepare for Black Friday

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November 23, 2006

It's tradition: once you've had your fill of good food and football, it's time to get ready for shopping.

But some people were already out spending money, or at least getting ready to on this Thanksgiving holiday.

While Black Friday is not the busiest shopping day of the year in terms of sales, when it comes to crowds, it usually is...with many people giving up hours of sleep to be the first in line.

"Probably get up at four, be out by five," shopper April Sharpe told News 12.

April and her friend Beth Marcum were out a day early, scoping out the soon-to-be deep discounts.

"Last year I hit Toys R Us and stuff, and that was pretty intense, but as long as you keep smiling, people kind of back away from you," Beth said.

And many of those who are not typical Black Friday shoppers will be in the stores tomorrow, because here in South Carolina, things are not only marked down, they are also tax free.

But just what are the door busters that'll have early birds flocking to the stores?

"DVD Player, portable DVD players, high definition flat screen TV's," said sales associate Betsy Bloomer.

"A trampoline is on the agenda for this year," April said.

The shelves are stocked now, but with so many people and limited items, you're bound to find some not-so-friendly shoppers.

April and Beth say they're not a part of that bunch.

"It's fun to me," April said. "It's a sport. So it's best to keep a good attitude, go with a good buddy and just have fun."

If you've never been a Black Friday shopper, Betsy Bloomer may offer some help. She's worked during the big day for the last 25 years, and her advice is simple enough: "Come early to get the best deals."

Some other hot items this year are karaoke machines, iPods, the new Nintendos, and, of course, the PlayStation 3.

Now we all know you need to get there early, but we talked with shoppers and came up with the three best pieces of advice.

First, be an earlier bird. Some deals may be available online before the stores open.

Also, save with triple plays. That means: 1) Look for a good price; 2) Use a coupon; and 3) See if you can get a cash-back rebate.

Finally, remember to get a gift receipt.

And here's one woman's tip that didn't make the list: hide your items in the store the night before, so they'll be there the next morning.

That one's kind of risky, because a good power shopper knows where to look.