I query, I just don't query in November and December.
Personally, my November is stacked with NaNo, Thanksgiving, & Black Friday.
We all know, or understand, how draining NaNo can be especially when kids and holidays are involved. That should be reason alone not to query in November. Luckily, Thanksgiving isn't too bad beause the only family that lives close enough to visit during this time is my sister and her three kids. They live across the street, so this dinner might be bigger in food quantity but it is usually like any other day we hang out. The only difference is that after we've eaten dinner and dessert has been served, my sister and I jump ship, leaving our husbands to clean up. You might be thinking we head off to another room for girl chat or to knit a scarf, no, no, no. We head out with several other bargain-hunting-moms for the start of Black Friday.
If you don't have kids, or your kids are grown, then you either don't know about Black Friday or you avoid it at all costs. That also means your probably wondering why we start on Thursday for sales that are supposed to start on Friday. The sales actually start on Thursday night. If you don't have a good system, or a team, you might be better off avoiding the rush. Here's my system:
- KNOW YOUR ADS IN ADVANCE
- That way you know exactly what you'll be getting and where it's located in the store. Go one or two days before to check the layout. Some items are moved around in the days preceding.
- These links have the ads in advance:
- BE ONE OF THE TOP 5 GROUPS IN LINE
- There are a lot of stores but none as important as Toys'R'Us for my group. We can be further back in other store lines like Target, Old Navy,GameStop, Best Buy, etc. (We avoid WalMart)
- We're talking groups here and not the 5th person in line. You might miss out on a popular item if you aren't one of the first in line.
- DIVIDE AND CONQUER
- You can't be everywhere, that's why you need a team. Also, you can only really push one cart around the store and it gets stacked up fast.
- Each member of your team will be responsible for an area of the store. For example, let's use Toys'R'Us where you have electronics, boys toys, girls toys, toddler, bikes, and baby stuff. You need at least 4-5 people in your team to properly conquer this store.
- Figure out who is going where and then piece out your list to the appropriate team member. You might be able to meet up at the check out to hand off, except for electronics. Send the most funded team member into electronics. If you don't get to meet up then plan on getting your stuff at the end of it all and paying back immediately with a check. Don't forget, you have their items on your list too, so you will only be paying back what isn't covered in what you bought for them.
- Don't forget your cell phones for communication but don't rely on them either because cell coverage in stores is sometimes poor.
- BREAK UP AFTER THE FIRST ROUND
- For us Toys'R'Us has two rounds of sales, each with different items. Last year, the second round was 4 hours later. (Be aware of which items on your list are for the second round and don't try to buy them during the first round. The cashier won't remind you and you'll end up paying full price for it.)
- The team member with the most items to purchase in the second round will stay. You can put all the second round items in a cart and wait in the store. That's what I did. I missed the second rush this way. While I was twiddling my thumbs inside Toys'R'Us for 4 hours my team members were conquering Target which opened later. When I was done checking out I headed over to GameStop for all Nintendo DS stuff because they had better sales.
- Note: Place holders in other store lines is acceptable in my area but might not be in your area. You may want to check and see how that works.
Once home, the women sleep (or should) while the men and kids hang Xmas lights and put up outdoor decorations.
From there December is already booked. The baking I do alone is enough to do me in. I bake 7-10 items every year and hand out or mail over 20 tins of baked goods.
Can you imagine if I was querying during these two months? Holidays are busy and sometimes depressing (lots of money being spent, for one). Querying yields far more rejections than requests. Why on Earth would I want to get a rejection during these months? I might be crazy enough to do Black Friday but query during the holidays, no way.
The good news though, is that I'm one less writer bogging down the query system. Yay for you!!!
DO YOU QUERY DURING THE HOLIDAYS?