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Black Friday Tips

How to Prepare for Black Friday

Posted on 11/4/2011 11:22 EST

The official kickoff to the holiday shopping season is still a few weeks away, but it's never too early to start preparing and even get a head start on your Black Friday shopping. Here are some Black Friday tips to help you develop an efficient game plan and get all the best deals.

Photo by jardenberg

Start Now.

Traditionally Black Friday is confined to the day after Thanksgiving, but this year it's looking like maybe the whole month should be called Black November. Amazon is counting down to Black Friday by offering early deals every day. We saw an LG Infinia 42-Inch HDTV marked down to $679.97 from $799.99, a savings of $120. Walmart is also jumping on the shop-early bandwagon this year and hosting a Super Saturday sale Nov. 5 with Black Friday-like specials in stores. For instance, this Nook Color e-reader, normally $249.98, will be marked down to $199.

Shop Early.

In years past, Black Friday shoppers enjoyed Thanksgiving, got to bed early, and woke before the sun to hit the stores. Now retailers such as Macy's, Kohl's, and Target are opening their doors at midnight. For serious shoppers, that may mean just a short catnap rather than a full night's sleep before getting up to wait in line again the next morning. Anyone offering Black Friday tips will tell you to aim to get to a store before it opens to score the best deals on big-ticket items.

Sign Up for Emails.

As of this writing, Black Friday deals have yet to be released, and you can be sure you're one of the first to see them by signing up for stores' email lists. This year, for the first time, Walmart is releasing its Black Friday ad early to email subscribers. Best Buy and Target also have email lists that promise to reveal the best deals. Another Black Friday tip: If you're waiting for Lowe's Black Friday deals, "like" the store on Facebook to get a sneak peek.

Photo by _rockinfree

Clip and Save Ads.

As the deals start to roll out, print and clip the ads for those you don't want to miss. This is helpful in two ways: First, it will help you map out your Black Friday shopping plan -- where to go first, how early to get there. You can even team up with a few other hard-core shoppers and decide who will hit which stores. Second, the ads are useful to take with you for price matching. Walmart, for one, will match any competitor's ad at checkout. Target and Staples also have price-matching policies.

Don't Forget Cyber Monday.

With all the hustle and bustle around Black Friday, don't overlook Cyber Monday. Many of the stores that advertise Black Friday discounts will be running similar deals online on the Monday after Thanksgiving and throughout the weekend. Web giant Amazon is participating in both Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, offering frugal shoppers a way to avoid the crowds and bargain hunt in their own homes.

Filed in: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Deals, eReaders, HDTVs, Shopping, Wal-Mart
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