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Tips For Avoiding Black Friday Blues

Photo by KUT.

Black Friday may be the biggest day of the year for retailers. In Austin and surrounding areas, shoppers lined up almost before the Thanksgiving dishes were done, looking for deals at stores that opened as early as 10 p.m. Thursday.

KUT put out the call early today for listeners to share their Black Friday shopping stories.  One shopper told KUT Friday morning that she saw a lot of people stocking up on single items to resell online between now and Christmas. Braden Frame from Leander told us his wife convinced him to go to Bath and Body Works to buy 4 candles for less than half their usual price. He wrote, "I reluctantly agreed, and went home, got her coupon and headed over... only to me [sic] overcome with the savings and... ended up spending $80 on a whole bag worth of stuff. On the upside saved an extra $170 and now my Christmas shopping for her is complete."

If you have not yet braved the cold and the crowds for those holiday deals, here are a few tips from the experts:

  • Dress comfortably. It may be cold outside but it gets warm inside pretty fast with all those crowds.
  • Shop with a pal. Someone who can help carry packages, help watch kids, and your back.
  • Don't forget to lock your car. And don't leave bags in your empty car while you shop some more.
  • Hold your purse or wallet close to your body.
  • Be careful using your credit card. 'Tis the season for id theft and credit card thieves. 

And, if you haven't heard it before, stay calm. Be nice to other shoppers. Store employees will probably appreciate a smile more than a snarl. Of course, if you just can't bear the thought of the crowds, remember: today is also "Buy Nothing Day." There are meet ups scheduled in more than 300 cities worldwide, including Austin. 1 person had signed up as of 10:00 this morning.

Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.