Tuesday's Top 10: Black Friday Shopping Tips


With the best bargain shopping day of the year nearly here, shoppers must adjust their shopping habits to the reality of Black Friday’s new sale schedule.

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Black Friday now starts on Thursday.  On Thanksgiving, Walmart, Sears, Kmart, and Toys“R”Us will open most stores at 8pm; Target at 9pm; and Best Buy, Kohl’s and Macy’s open at midnight. Most others open at 5am or 6am Friday.  For the first time, some stores are staggering their doorbusters, releasing different ones at different times. For Walmart, it is at 8pm and 10pm on Thursday and 5am Friday, while at Sears it is at 8pm and 4am.  If you don’t read their circulars carefully, you may show up at the store either hours early or hours late.  

Use these holiday shopping tips to help bag the best bargains: 
  • Read the Ads: Preview the Black Friday sale circulars now at bfads.net. Check local newspapers on Thanksgiving Day. They will be chock-full of circulars and last minute deals. 
  • Evaluate the Deals: Not all Black Friday advertised items are great deals. Others will become available the weekend before Thanksgiving, on Cyber Monday, or in mid-December. 
  • Research the Right Product: A low price on a lousy product is no bargain. 
  • Save with "Triple Plays": To save the most, combine the primary ways to save: buy items at a good sale price, use percent-off/dollars-off coupons offered by some stores to lower that price even more, and look for items that also have a cash back rebate. 
  • Be an Early Bird: Plot your route from store to store based on store opening times, and since quantities of the hottest deals are very limited, arrive before the doors open. 
  • Beat the Early Birds: To plan for the real Black Friday, scope-out key retailers on Wednesday before Thanksgiving to learn each store’s floor plan in advance. 
  • Check the Return Policy: Before buying, find out the store’s return policy. 
  • Get a Gift Receipt: Make returns easier for gift recipients by asking the store for a gift receipt.
  • Use the Right Credit Card: Certain credit cards offer valuable free benefits. 
  • Save More with Price-Match Guarantees: Keep checking the prices of the items you buy. Since many stores offer a price protection guarantee, you may be entitled to get back some additional money if the seller or a competitor offers a lower price before Christmas. 
Cyber Monday is for shoppers that like to avoid crowds and shop online.  There are great deals to be found.
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