Before we find the devil in the details, let’s do a bit of background. Black Friday started in the United States and is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving - that holiday where Americans eat shiny full turkeys and pumpkin pie. It has been replicated in a lot of countries; Nigeria borrowed from across the Pacific in 2014.

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year - mostly because products go on sale with obscene discounts and people are generally averse to seeing awoof just go like that. Nothing suggests that this year will be any different.

Typically, it is a very busy day - both online and in physical stores. For those who don’t know their way around, Black Friday often goes and comes like small chops at an overcrowded party - you will see and smell but your hand will not touch it.

As you navigate the murky waters of discount shopping, we have compiled a list of guidelines to help you make the best of the experience.

Take down your notes.

Start by picking a store where you’ll do your shopping;

It’s very easy to keep shouting ‘Black Friday’ while you daydream about the iPhone 7 you’ll finally be able to buy - but Black Friday is not a place. All your dreams will fade away if you don’t do the needful. Discover the many online platforms where you can shop on the 25th and pick one of them.

But continue to look around for better options.

One of the upsides of deciding early is that you learn about ‘terms and conditions’ and decide if the site is what it first seemed like. Which means you have to start your search all over again if it isn’t. Being on the lookout for deals and better platforms saves you that trouble - and helps you get better deals when they become available.

Get creepy and stalk the life out of your chosen online store

Follow. Them. Everywhere. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. They will not follow back, even if you beg. But e-commerce sites and vendors often share news and exclusives on their social pages. They also post limited time deals which expire in the space of hours. It's like Black Friday inside Black Friday.

And open a user account on the platform as soon as you can

Imagine this scenario. You’ve decided on a site and have started picking deals. You shower the website with page views as Black Friday edges closer. Then it’s finally here and the shopping begins - you add more than any cart should take - then you proceed to checkout, and this form is looking at you like the final level of Super Mario.

In opening an account, you get to provide all necessary details that could become one long drag if you wait till Black Friday.

Also, make a detailed list of all the things you plan to buy;

Your objective for Black Friday should be to buy only the items on your list at the lowest price possible. The truth is that the e-commerce sites will attack you on all sides with beautiful high-resolution pictures of all the things that you like but you don’t really need. With a list and a bit of discipline, you can avoid demoralising yourself and your bank account.

And when D-day comes, make your orders as early as possible.

We mean this literally. If you wake up at 4 in the morning, make your first order at 4:02. As the day goes on, the traffic on e-commerce sites gets so heavy that crashing is par for the course for most of them. Hey, Jumia.

Obviously, you can avoid this by shopping early. It also gives you a head start over all the other cheap people on the internet, plus you have a reasonable chance of getting one of the products that are bound to get sold out later in the day.

While some platforms have already begun Black Friday sales, you can expect it to go down everywhere on the 25th of November 2016. The heavy advertising and promises of better packages on just about every site can be very confusing but, with a little preparation and care, you’ll be okay. Have fun trying to save money by spending more.

*no vex na God*