Black Friday veterans offer tips and war stories on "As soon as you feel a hand on your back, you know it's time to run. Run as fast as...

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Black Friday veterans offer tips and war stories on

“As soon as you feel a hand on your back, you know it’s time to run. Run as fast as you can down the wide aisles of Wal-Mart, trying to be first to the pallet of computers, electronics and laptops …


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“Throw it in your cart without stopping, for the crowd is right on your heels. Next, run fast through the rest of the aisles, leaning over the items in your cart and running on tiptoe so your body weight is holding down the items. … “

— Heather in North Carolina

“If you want to really get a hot ticket item, you should set up camp. … We bring a tiny grill and make s’mores even. If you want it bad enough, no later than 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving is when you should arrive. We actually have a lil’ camping schedule, with everything from a Starbucks run to the family football game scheduled in the BestBuy parking lot. … “

We leave with about $10,000 worth of stuff, but paid only like $3,000.

— PerfectPeanut in California

“If you plan on taking coffee, bring extra for new friends. They will hold your place in line during potty breaks. For women, use a backpack-style purse or just use cargo pockets. You will need your shoulders, arms and hands free to carry all your loot.”

— BeverlyC, Douglasville, Ga.

“Last year, around Halloween, I started my planning. I used Excel to make a spreadsheet of every item I was planning on buying, and from what store. … After doing CompUSA at midnight, my crew went to Staples and were the first ones there. The store staff arrived around 4 for the 6 a.m. opening. The manager even brought us doughnuts and hot cocoa.

“The manager was so impressed with my list of items, she took the list into the store … and put all my items on the register in the front. When the store opened, we walked over to the register, … paid for my items and was out of there within 10 minutes … I’m definitely going back to that same store this year.”

— kjs2004, Desert, Calif.

“Last year, I grabbed a salesman in Staples (I couldn’t get what I wanted since the shelf was bare), and he jumped online. And voilà! He ordered what I wanted, and it was shipped free to my house. I could have done that at home!”

— RahRah in Missouri