Black Friday expert provides shopping tips

By Ryne Turke on November 24, 2016 at 7:13am

An avid Black Friday shopper is sharing her secrets to success for the biggest shopping day of the year.

What started as a family tradition in her grade school years has transformed into a passion for Jacksonville-native Ann Hungerford.

After many years of trial and error on Black Friday, Hungerford has compiled a solid list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to getting the most of your time shopping.

Hungerford says strategizing and figuring out what items you want is key on Black Friday, even in a town like Jacksonville.

“I notice there are police officers in almost every store. It is no exaggeration to have five or six officer at each point of sale, just because it gets physical. People have crossed those lines just to save a few bucks. Once you get to the store there is no time for planning. It is mass chaos. About the only thing you have to worry about that day is finding a parking spot and knowing where to go.”

Hungerford says she’s adjusted her strategy slightly as stores continue to start Black Friday deals early each year. While a portion of her family celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, Hungerford is out at the stores searching for deals.

Hungerford advises shoppers to travel in large groups so you have a better shot at purchasing the items you want most. She also requesting layouts of each retail outlet so you can move quickly to the item you items on your list.

“They place the items throughout the store so there is a path and the aisles are blocked off. It is a free for all at those checkpoints. I shouldn’t have to second guess if a person in the late stages of pregnancy is going to get hurt by attending a sale at Wal-Mart. It has gotten to that point where that is your first thought.”

Hungerford says big dollar items like televisions, gaming systems and cameras occasionally have a limited amount of items in stock, so do your research on how those items are sold before heading to the store.

Hungerford also suggests looking online to see if you can get similar deals without going through the hassle on Black Friday.

On a different note, Hungerford warns shoppers not to get caught too caught up in the savings.

“There’s definitely been years and go and just because it is on sale you buy the five for four dollar pajamas, even though you can’t fit another pair in your dresser. I really think it is about moderation and assessing your needs for that item beforehand. If you don’t, then your savings aren’t worth it if you are buying extras,” says Hungerford.