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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 Published: November 24, 2011

Once they know what they want, they start comparing prices. Sometimes, pre-Thanksgiving sales beat the Black Friday price, so they'll buy ahead.

As the big day nears, they'll match the items they want to the stores that will have it and what time the stores open. This year, most retailers open at midnight, so the couple will have to prioritize and also weigh where they think the lines will be most manageable.

And they've been pre-shopping the stores two days before, to try on clothes and determine where the door busters will be placed.

How they shop

Travis Benham says he'll nap after their Thanksgiving dinner, then be ready to stay up all night. He and Rachel plan to arrive at their first store about three hours before opening.

In line, they will continue checking for deals on their smartphones. Sometimes, businesses drop off free coffee or hot cocoa, they said.

The Benhams wear matching shirts and stick together. Until the doors open and a flood of shoppers pours inside, then each hit one side of the store and meet back in the middle.

By knowing exactly what to purchase and what sizes they need, both are in and out of a store in 15 minutes, carrying everything in their arms.

But they believe Black Friday shopping is mainly for grownups. It's no place for children, they say.

“It really is a game. It's a strategy,” Travis Benham said. “We look forward to it.”