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Die-hard Black Friday shoppers prepare for the rush

One Mustang couple plans their shopping trip with military precision so they can avoid the stores through Christmas.
BY JENNIFER PALMER Business Writer jpalmer@opubco.com Published: November 24, 2011

This Friday, there will be shoppers out browsing without a list, trying on clothes and scrambling for a cart. They'll be price checking in the store and asking for help finding items. They may be hungry or tired or cold because they hadn't properly prepared.

Not Travis and Rachel Benham, of Mustang. The husband-and-wife team has been in Black Friday mode since Halloween. They've got “door busting” down to a science.

People may call them crazy. But when Black Friday is over, they'll have 90 percent to 95 percent of their holiday shopping done and saved hundreds of dollars on items for themselves. Then, they say they'll spend the time until Christmas avoiding the packed stores and malls, except maybe to pick up a gift card here or there.

At least 40 percent of consumers plan to shop on Black Friday and most believe retailers will offer their best holiday deals this weekend, according to Price Grabber.

The Benhams have years of Black Friday shopping experience, but anyone planning on hitting the stores Friday can learn a thing or two from their method.

How they prepare

Advance planning is the most important aspect of shopping on Black Friday, they say. The Benhams begin with a wish list and carefully tweak it as each store advertisement is released. They start in October.

“For us, Black Friday is a season, not just a day,” Travis Benham said.

Benham, a software developer, is always looking for the latest tech gadgets. His wife, a stay-at-home mom, wants a new vacuum cleaner this year. And they'll be shopping for their 4-year-old daughter, Piper, as well.

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