Walmart Black Friday tips

A reader asked a question: “Since our Walmart is open 24 hours – If I get there at 4 instead of 5 am I better off?”

Her question made me think of more tips that might be helpful for people preparing to brave the crowds at WalMart next Friday.

The very hottest ‘doorbuster’ deals will be on covered pallets in all the main aisles of the store, and you won’t be allowed to grab those items until 5 AM.   As you walk in you might be handed a map, which makes it much easier to locate the things you want the most.  Once you find your highest priority item, if you get there a little early you can camp in front of it, so that as soon as they uncover the heap at 5 AM you can grab what you need.  Be fast, though. Some things are out of stock literally within 2 minutes.

If you happen to miss out on something you really wanted, if there’s an employee nearby, ask if/when it is going to be restocked.  Also keep an eagle eye as you shop later.  Sometimes people abandon things in odd places that they have changed their minds about.  More than once I’ve found something I really wanted, abandoned in an odd spot.

Another reason that it might be helpful to show up a little early at WalMart is that usually the less ‘exciting’ sales are left uncovered.   You can’t buy them early, but you can usually grab them early, and be that much quicker to get to the checkout.   I usually stock up on Rustler jeans (last year they were $7 a pair, I think) and they are usually uncovered, free to be taken before 5 AM.   Be sure you have your ads with you, to make sure you have exactly the right item.

Probably the most important thing is to have a competent helper so that there can be one shopper and one ‘waiter’ when the checkout lines are long.  The best way to get through the lines quickly is to try to hit the checkout within 20 minutes of the store’s opening, before the lines get too insane.  That takes fast organized shopping.

If at all possible, leave the cart with your ‘waiting-in-line’ buddy, since carts are HORRID to navigate through crowded aisles.  Much better to make fast trips back and forth to your waiting buddy with heaps of good finds than to get stuck for precious minutes in cart gridlock.

Oh, and last thing– DON’T get carried away and overbuy.  Only buy what you need!!


My other Black Friday post


  1. When it comes to Black Friday, I’m torn. The frugal side of me says “yesyesyes”, but the crazy-shopper-really-crowded-store-forgetting-the-true-spirit-of-the-season-i-feel-a-panic-attack-coming-0n side of me says “nonono”. I’m more of a 2 or 3 in the afternoon on Black Friday kind of gal.

  2. I have never done Black Friday and this description does not make it very appealing. Good luck in your hunt. I look forward to hearing about it.

  3. Does Wal-Mart have online door busters? You make it sound scary to enter the store on black friday.

  4. Also, some of the items MAY be available online. I was able to get the camera I wanted for my mom last year online, shipped free to the store, and still get out of the house in time to get in line at Target before they opened.

    Also, if you can stand it…leave the coat in the car (or at least with your buddy)- the stores are usually warm and you get hot running back and forth – plus adreline kicks in and you will be sweating before you know it.

    Ditto on a heavy purse. Stick your cash in your pocket (my method) or (heaven forbid) wear a fanny pack (my mom’s method)

  5. I’m getting so excited! My husband and I make an annual date of Black Friday. This year we have a sitter while hubby and I head out super early. Then after we get home from “round one” we are farming the kids out and making a day/night of things with a hotel down town. Can’t wait!

  6. Me too! As odd as it is, I find the challenge of the morning to be half the fun!


  7. Hey Mary. Thanks for your comment! You are a brave woman to not only brave Black Friday, but to do it at Wal-Mart takes some serious determination! I did this one time, trying to get a tv. I’m pretty sure I saw some hair pulling going on . 🙂

  8. If you go at 4:oo am you will find that there are people who have been waiting all night for some of these items (especially the most popular toys and expensive electronics).Last year I arrived at 2:30 and I was about the 60th person in line for an item (camera) of which theyonly had 22. Good luck.

  9. There is no item on this planet which would find me organizing so much.
    I don’t think I would work that hard for a cool shower after a day in the desert, let alone some trinket which would probably still be around for my birthday in June.

    No, dearie, does not sound any fun for me at all.

    I’m loving reading all about it from you, tho.

  10. Got to say I’m one of those people who loves the challenge. And I always bump into someone I haven’t seen in a long time. That’s my favorite part:-)

  11. Wow! Just reading that made me tired. I have never shopped Black Friday and don’t plan on starting now. That sounds like great advice though. Lucky for me, my kids never want the fad things. Yeah!

  12. It really can be alot of fun. My friends and I used to head out to the big 3, Target, Walmart and Toys r us. One would wait in line while the rest of us ran around grabbing deals. It was hectic, but so much fun.

  13. I like the idea of not taking a purse. A few years ago I was shopping in Wal-Mart the week before Christmas (with my 3 kids to distract me), and my purse was stolen from the buggy. I didn’t even notice it until I got up to the register to pay! The police later discovered that the thieves used my cards right there in Wal-Mart while I was still shopping!

  14. What about online sales? If there’s something I want at Walmart that I know will be for sale on the site, what time will that sale start? I’d rather get up early and spend a few minutes on my computer than go to the store. Please let me know if you know how online sales work! Thanks!

  15. Do you know if any businesses will price match WalMart’s priced items on Saturday?

  16. does walmart have good prices on hdtvs on black friday? like under 300 for a 32inch


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