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How to Safely Snag Black Friday Deals During a Pandemic

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Nothing in 2020 happens according to the status quo. COVID-19 impacts everyone’s daily lives, changing how we do our jobs, spend time with friends, and even go grocery shopping.

As such, Black Friday will look extremely different from its traditional mob-like rushes to the latest sale, or it needs to in order to keep shoppers and employees safe. Even if some choose to go shopping on the big day, it simply isn’t possible to keep 6 feet from you and the eight other people next to you racing to the 50% off Baby Yoda doll.

Whether or not you can go shopping in the traditional way, you definitely still have people expecting a present this holiday. So how do you make sure you check your list twice and get everyone who was nice (and naughty) the perfect gift?

Spread Out Your Shopping Days

A lot of stores are offering deals throughout the month of November to limit the need to squeeze your shopping into one crowded day. Have an idea of what you’re looking for and check your usual stores to see when during the month you can get the best deal. While you’re busy researching, see if you can choose to do curbside pick-up to limit your time inside the store.

Make a List (Literally)

If you plan ahead, you’ll spend less time hemming and hawing in the store. If you have an exact plan of what you need and where to find it inside the store, you’ll spend less time touching potentially infected objects and interacting with potentially infected people. When you get home, make sure you sanitize the items you can sanitize and set aside the items to quarantine them long enough for the potential germs to die.

Shop Online

You can avoid exposure in stores by choosing not to enter stores at all. Online shopping has become a huge part of Black Friday in years past (so much so that the holiday “Cyber Monday” was born), but now is a better time than ever to participate in the trend.

If you’re choosing to shop online, try to avoid big department stores, especially Amazon. It’s such a busy time for those overloaded workers, and Jeff Bezos doesn’t really need the pay raise. Instead, try shopping on Etsy to find homemade gifts with more of a special touch. In some shops, you can even choose to have gift wrapping done, so it comes ready for gifting!

Support Your Creative Friends

This year, 20.6 million jobs have been lost due to COVID, raising the unemployment rate to 14.7%, a percentage not seen since the Great Depression. Instead of giving your money to big businesses, find your friends who can knit and commission a scarf for your mom. Find your friend trying to get their photography business off the ground and either buy a print or book a session on behalf of your engaged sister. If you know of an art major stuck taking online classes, ask if they have time to do a commission. Supporting your friends’ creative pursuits can go a long way in helping them pay the bills and more importantly, feel supported in a year where everyone could use a little more love.

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Are you usually the first in line to grab those Black Friday deals? How do you plan to get your holiday shopping done this year?

Sarah Margaret Henry

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