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Black Friday Shopping Tips

How to Get the Best Deals

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Black Friday – it's a day for nabbing bargains, but only if you know how to shop. Here are several shopping tips to help you navigate the day:

Plan Early

Black Friday ads usually come out Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn't mean you have to wait until then to start planning. Head online to sites like black-Friday.net and bfads.com for a sneak peek at this year's ads. Then, write out a list of your must-have items, or use Gottadeal.com’s shopping list feature to create a virtual list complete with links to product information, coupons and additional discounts. While you’re checking out the Black Friday sites, also be sure to sign up for e-updates. This will ensure that you receive notification when new store ads or coupons are added to the site.

Note: The ads that you view on Black Friday sites may not be accurate. Be sure to compare your list to the Thanksgiving Day sales circulars.

Check Out the Merchandise

Once you have your shopping list, it's time to start planning your attack. Head to the store to peek at the items that your interested in. Check the quality of the items, look at the product features and compare each item to similar models to be sure that you'll really be getting a bargain if you decide to buy.

Also make a note of the location of each item, and jot down how many the store currently has in stock – this will help you to decide where you need to head first.

Compare Prices

Just because it's on sale doesn't mean it's a great deal. Use a price comparison website like pricegrabber.com to compare prices at competing retailers before you buy.

Investigate Price Matching and Return/Rebuy Policies

Some store will match a competitor's price on an identical item. Others will allow you to buy merchandise in advance of the sale, and to then return and rebuy the items on Black Friday. Check with stores ahead of time to learn their policies. Then, plan your shopping strategy accordingly.

Only Shop the Deals

Focus your energy on shopping for the bargains, and leave the rest of your Christmas shopping for another day.

Check Online for Coupons

Before you head to the stores, be sure to check online for printable coupons that can be used in store. Some retailers add coupons to their website as late as Thanksgiving Day, so it's worth a last-minute check before you head out the door. Another great strategy: Sign up to receive e-mail newsletters from all of the stores that you plan to shop at. Newsletter subscribers frequently receive extra savings.

Shop Online

Want to avoid the crowds? Then, shop online. Many Stores offer the same Black Friday specials on their website, and will throw in free shipping – a real bonus. Other deals to look for: free in-store pick up, online-only deals and an early start to the sales – Black Friday sales frequently kick off online at midnight on Thanksgiving, while most in-store sales start at 5 a.m. the next day.

Re-evaluate Your Purchases

Getting swept up in the excitement of Black Friday can often lead to impulse buys and overspending. Let that bargain shoppping buzz wear off; then, return any items that you don't feel great about.
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