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What to Consider While Looking for Best Black Friday Deals

Updated on October 25, 2013
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Invest your time and money wisely by planning ahead and doing your research. Black Friday is November 29 this year. However, many stores will offer their Black Friday sale products online starting Thanksgiving morning.

Plan for parking woes, screaming children and stressed-out parents. Bring food and water in your bag, and carpool with a friend if possible. Leave the kids at home with the non-shoppers. Your fellow bargain hunters – and the kids – will thank you.

Dress in layers, because shopping in crowded stores is hot, sweaty work. It is nice to be able to strip off a fleece pullover and flannel shirt inside the store, and put them back on before heading back out in the cold to find the car.

1. Do your research

A bad product is a bad deal no matter the cost. Know what you want to buy to avoid lousy products. Know your budget and make a list of your must-haves and the price you can pay for each item. This will help you stay within budget in the middle of the crowd. Lots of impulse buying happens in the midst of Black Friday sales, so plan to prevent it. Carry the amount of cash you have budgeted, and stop shopping when it runs out.

Compare prices ahead of time at sites like PriceGrabber.com. Be sure to compare the exact same items including extras to avoid unpleasant surprises in the stores. Use online and mobile tools to find the best deals. Sites like and BradsDeals.com, BlackFriday.com, Couponwind.com, FatWallet already have major retailer’s Black Friday deals posted. On Black Friday itself, use Smartphone apps like RedLaser and RetailMeNot to get news about better prices at nearby stores.

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2. Early bird discounts

Some stores offer early-morning shopping deals with no rain checks. Internet shoppers can still beat the early birds by doing their shopping right after midnight on Black Friday morning. Many retailers offer deals that can be ordered online and picked up at the local store. Even more offer web-only discounts as early as the week of Thanksgiving. Read all the ads and coupons in the Thanksgiving Day newspaper. Use these to organize and plan your shopping trip and maximize your savings. Route your trip based on your purchasing priorities and time-sensitive bargains.

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3. Know your stores

Many shoppers map out their favorite stores, so they know which aisle to hit first. They may work in teams to ensure they get the best deal possible. Understand that a store that offers a “lowest price guarantee” will require you to produce documentation that the exact same product is advertised for a lower price. A few will meet Internet prices, so bring a printout of the applicable web page with details and price.

Know the return and exchange policies of your stores. Restocking fees and short return times are becoming more common. Get gift receipts with your purchase and include them in the gift box. These will make returns or exchanges easier for the recipient if they are needed.

Crazy Black Friday Shoppers

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4. Charge it – carefully

Running up credit card bills and paying lots of money in interest fees is no bargain. However, with the proper spending habits, using credit cards can help you on Black Friday. Many major credit card companies offer free benefits like extended warranties, sales price guarantees and return protections for purchases made on their card. They may refund the price difference if a better price is found within a 30-day time frame. PayPal is offering a similar deal online, but consumers must find the lower price and request the refund.

Credit card warranty coverage may double or triple a manufacturer’s warranty for free, as opposed to purchasing a pricey service contract. Sales price protection deals on charge cards can be a real benefit. Many retailers start cutting prices right after Black Friday. The difference in prices between gifts bought in late November can be significantly different from what you pay a month later.

5. Online shopping

Black Friday online shopping is rapidly becoming as much of a tradition as mobbing bricks and mortar stores. Some online sites can offer better deals than any traditional store an offer. Sites like BradsDeals and Amazon may offer deals at the same price or less than retailers up to 70 percent of the time. Cyber Monday, a relatively new trend, is the time to purchase small appliances like blenders, according to experts. Online deals are also usually very limited in quantity, so shop early on Thanksgiving to get the products you want.

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6. Avoid scams and shams

The so-called “door buster” bargains are super-low priced items intended to generate hype and get shoppers in the store. Read the fine print accompanying the advertised special. Many door buster deals are present in stores only in very limited quantities. Retailers count on the fact that shoppers will not want to waste their trip, so they are prepared with plenty of less budget-friendly options.

Also, watch out for price-matching tricks some retailers play. They may advertise they will match any other advertised price throughout the holiday season. Unfortunately, shoppers miss the fine print that excludes the Black Friday through Cyber Monday period. They usually exclude Amazon’s Daily Deals, Lightning Deals and Gold Box Deals, for instance. Read the terms in the advertisement carefully before you try to get a refund of a price difference.

Black Friday is the “official” kickoff for the holiday shopping season, although marked-down merchandise is already appearing in stores. The day after Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when shoppers can get up at 2:00 a.m. and risk potential death by trampling in search of a great deal on an LCD TV. However, the most important thing to organize and remember for Black Friday shopping success is easy: The opening time for each store.

Your Opinion Is Important

As always I would love to know your opinion and thoughts on sale shopping, what have been your own experiences in the past good or bad?

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day in the USA but what about the rest of the world? are things different where you live? do retailers have a different approach when it comes to stock clearance?

Do you think sale days are just a con to increase revenue by the stores? or is it a day of the year you look forward to battling with shoppers to find the items you desire.

The Care-Share Movement

What is the Care-Share Movement? well it's just a selection of words I made up to get your attention :-) sorry but seriously please share this article on your networks like facebook, twitter and G+ people love to read new and helpful articles like this one.

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