Best Black Friday sales
3. Best Buy
Honorable mention: Kohl’s, Belk and Macy’s
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Best after-Christmas sales
Honorable mention: J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Kohl’s
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Best clothing consignment
1. Plato’s Closet, 4082 Electric Road
2. Goodwill Industries of the Valleys
3. Hidden Treasures Consignment, 4216 Brambleton Ave.
Honorable mention: Consigning Women, 2214 Electric Road and Creative C.A.T. Consignment, 2316 Orange Ave. N.E. (tie); Euro Fashions & Exclusives, 3635 Franklin Road S.W. and New To Me Consignment Boutique, 1322 Grandin Road S.W. (tie); and Rena’s on Main, 18 E. Main St., Salem
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Best kids consignment
1. Once Upon a Child, 1371 Towne Square Blvd. and 3953 Brambleton Ave. in Roanoke, 360A Arbor Drive in Christiansburg and 18013 Forest Road, Suite B-01 in Forest
2. Goodwill Industries of the Valleys
3. Lauren’s Friends & Alex, 3473 Brandon Ave. S.W.
Honorable mention: Plato’s Closet, 4082 Electric Road; Kidstuff, 4 E. Main St., Salem; and Second Chance Consignment, 8 Roanoke Street, Christiansburg
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Best home decor consignment
1. Consignment 1st, 2065 Electric Road
2. Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, and Tis the Season, Colonial Avenue at 23rd Street Southwest (tie)
3. Buy the Season, 1529 Apperson Drive, Salem
Honorable mention: Creative C.A.T. Consignment, 2316 Orange Ave. N.E. and New To Me Consignment Boutique, 1322 Grandin Road S.W. (tie); Hidden Treasures Consignment, 4216 Brambleton Ave. and Upscale Attic, 360 Arbor Drive, Christiansburg (tie); and Black Dog Salvage, 902 13th St. S.W.
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By Rebecca Holland
Confession time: I’m not a Black Friday shopper. But, I write about shopping and saving money, you say. How could I give advice on Black Friday shopping when I’ve never done it?
Thankfully, readers and veteran shoppers have come to my aid with some valuable guidance. Here’s what they had to say about shopping Black Friday in the Roanoke and New River valleys:
- Do your homework. Review the circulars, know what’s on sale where, and know the layout of the stores. Doing a lot of prep work may take time in advance, but it could save you a great deal of hassle on the big day. Don’t get stuck wandering around a store, looking for your items. Know where you’re going, and keep your circulars with you to avoid questions about price.
- Bring a friend. Having someone to shop with is valuable for a number of reasons. Not only do you have someone to commiserate with in the early morning hours, but you also can tag team the sales. Also, one person can hold a place in line while the other shops. After it’s all done, it’s nice to have breakfast with someone and go through all of your finds.
- Map out your store-to-store route. Navigating within the stores isn’t the only plan you should make in advance. Plan a route for the stores you want to visit. Know each store’s hours and its location relative to the other stores you want to hit. Think about parking options, as well.
- Make a list for each store. Having a list will remind you of your priorities and help keep you from getting distracted. Snatch up your “have to have” items first, and then browse through the rest of the store. One reader noted that Walmart had restocked many sale items by 7 a.m. one year, so they were able to avoid most of the early-morning crowds and still find most of the bargains they wanted.
- Shop local whenever possible. Most locally owned stores won’t be having midnight or earlier openings for their sales, allowing you to spend more time with family (or in bed). In many cases, small businesses are more willing to negotiate prices and work with shoppers on returns, exchanges and personalizing products.
- Use cash. Using cash will not only help you keep track of how much you’ve spent, but it also simplifies returns at most stores. There’s no need to keep track of which card your purchase went on, and you won’t get any surprises on your next credit card bill.
If you have additional tips for surviving Black Friday, share them on the Shoptimist blog .