Ah, Black Friday.
Not even 24 hours removed from a day of giving thanks and showing gratitude, we lose our collective minds as stores slash prices and sling deals. Black Friday is an American tradition where shopping becomes a competitive sport. Like in football or baseball, it’s good to have a game plan before heading out to shop.
Here are six strategic tips to help you emerge victorious.
1. Decide Between Malls, Outlets, and Standalone Stores
The first step to planning an epic shopping spree is deciding where to go.
Orlando is full of great malls, outlets, and smaller shopping districts. The best spot for you will depend on what you’re looking for and who you’re shopping with.
Shopping Malls in Orlando
Believe us, going to a mall on Black Friday is not for the faint of heart.
But there are some benefits. First, a good mall has something for everyone. If you would otherwise find yourself driving all over Orlando to get your gifts, consider braving the mall chaos.
Second, if you’re traveling with kids who want to meet Santa, a visit to the mall may be in order.
Keep in mind that on Black Friday, the line to the North Pole could be a long one.
Two of the best malls in Orlando are the Florida Mall and the Mall at Millenia. The Florida Mall has family-friendly stores like the Crayola Retail Store, American Girl, and Build-A-Bear Workshop. There’s also a 3,000-square-foot play area. The Mall at Millenia is great for high-end gifts, with stores like Hermes, Tiffany & Co., Prada, and Gucci.
Both also have mall fixtures like Bath & Bodyworks, H&M, and Sunglass Hut.
Outlets in Orlando
You can find amazing deals at outlets and factory stores year-round, but the bargains are even better on Black Friday.
Like shopping malls, outlets have a little bit of everything.
However, they tend to be dominated by clothing stores. Outlets are a great choice if your holiday shopping list is full of fashionistas. Orlando tends to have great weather in November. So, if you go to an outlet mall, be sure to take a break in the courtyard to soak up some sun.
Orlando has three major outlet malls.
Orlando International Premium Outlets is the largest. Its 180+ stores include American Eagle, Carhartt, Reebok, Gap Kids, and Kay Jewelers. Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores is an outlet mall close to Walt Disney World. It has ample parking, a playground, and stores like Crocs, Levi’s, Timberland, and OshKosh B’gosh.
Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets is known for high-end retailers like Armani, Burberry, Brooks Brothers, and Jimmy Choo.
Other Orlando Shopping Options
Traffic sucks; there’s no getting around it (both the fact and the actual traffic).
Malls and outlets are already busy areas with a lot of traffic. Black Friday only makes things worse. For the most efficient deal hunting, instead find standalone stores and shopping centers that are out of the way.
These stores generally have lighter traffic and provide a calmer shopping experience.
There are also independent boutiques and gift shops across Orlando. You may, however, want to wait a day before visiting them. Mom-and-pop shops are more likely to have deals on Small Business Saturday.
2. Research Black Friday Deals
Most stores announce their Black Friday sales long before the fated day arrives.
Smart shoppers take advantage of these announcements and scout out the best deals on the products they actually want or need. Many stores post their sales online, so be sure to check your favorite retailer’s website in the days leading up to Black Friday.
3. Make a Shopping List
Shopping on Black Friday without specific merch in mind is a one-way ticket to impulse buying.
It’s like going to the grocery store hungry and without a list. You wander around and grab whatever catches your eye or seems like a good enough deal. You’re likely to wind up with a bunch of stuff you don’t really need. While you rove about the store, shoppers who have already done their Black Friday research will head right for what they want.
If you wait until you get to the store to make your decisions, these pro shoppers may swipe the best deals out from under you.
Big-box stores like Walmart and Target have in-app shopping lists where you can save the products you want. Otherwise, grab some paper and a pen and make your wish list before going anywhere.
4. Show Up Early
Black Friday is a frenzied race to the stores and shelves.
Serious Black Friday shoppers line up before the store opens, waiting to snatch the best deals. If you wait too long, these early birds are likely to grab all the hot-ticket items, leaving you with lesser deals.
To beat them, show up extra early. For your patience and dedication, you’ll be rewarded with the best Black Friday sales.
5. Skip the Traffic and Shop Cyber Monday
If you aren’t a patient shopper or aren’t great with crowds, Black Friday may not be your thing.
And that’s okay! It doesn’t mean you have to miss out on deals. Cyber Monday has actually become more popular than Black Friday in recent years. The Monday after Thanksgiving ensures that everyone has a chance at the supreme holiday sales.
As with Black Friday, it pays to research Cyber Monday deals, make a list, and shop early in the day.
Here are a few other Cyber Monday tips:
- Add the items you want to your online shopping cart before the deals go live.
- Save your credit card information to your account before the sale starts.
These tricks expedite the online checkout process and ensure that you nab your merchandise before it goes out of stock.
6. Take Time to Rest
Black Friday shopping can be exhausting no matter how or where you shop.
Make sure you have somewhere comfortable to rest before and after your shopping trip. Rosen Inn’s convenient location on International Drive makes it easy to get to and from Orlando’s best malls, outlets, and stores. Our hotel rooms feature cozy Simmons Beautyrest® pillow-top mattresses, perfect for recuperating after a busy day of holiday shopping.
And if you’re waiting for Cyber Monday to score your deals, you’ll love our free Wi-Fi.
Explore ways to save on your Orlando hotel stay on our packages webpage.