Black Friday: Deals and how to survive

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With Halloween over with, it’s time you start preparing yourself for Black Friday. Always falling on the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is typically the starting line for Christmas shoppers. Many retailers put together excellent sales for those willing to brave the dense crowds and some even begin their sales earlier, and have them continue on through the weekend. While there is a lot available, you should prepare yourself ahead of time by planning what you’re looking for and where the best place to find it is.

More often than not, electronics are the most sought after item. With prices lower than you’d find at any other time of the year, people will camp out on the street in order to get themselves a new flat-screen TV at a lowered price. With all the sales going on it is easy to get caught up in the buying craze so it’s important to figure out your budget and stick with it.

If you want to take advantage of the deals but don’t want to sit idly in your car for twenty minutes while trying to find mall parking, checking online in the comfort of your own home is the easiest way to go about it. Retailers will often offer the same deals online that they do in-store, and sometimes those deals are even better and can’t be found in-store. Retailers like Amazon have even offered low or free shipping costs as an incentive to take advantage of their online discounts. Amazon has also set up a Countdown to Black Friday and a Holiday Toy List webpage, where you’re able to shop even earlier for Black Friday deals.

While you’re online you should definitely sign up for e-mail alerts for any retailer that you’re interested in. Once signed up, you’ll receive any promos and coupons they may be offering, cutting out any actual research work you would otherwise have to do.

If you do end up having to brave those crowds after all, there are a few things you should check on. For example, make sure that the return/exchange policy for whatever you’re buying isn’t different because of Black Friday. You want to make sure that you’re not going to be stuck with a final sale item just because you got caught up in the buying frenzy and suddenly had to have that ice cream maker.

If you find something you really want but remember it being advertised for cheaper at another store, ask for a price-match before making your way to that second store. Often retailers will be more than happy to match that lower price to keep you in their store. Another tip is to watch out for packaged bundles. Electronic stores love to bundle items together to draw you in. They may offer a nice television with a DVD or Blu-ray player as an added bonus. It sounds great but you may want to check on the prices of those items separately. With prices for DVD and Blu-ray players relatively low, you may not be saving much money, if at all, with their bundle. While checking on the prices, make sure you actually want everything that’s included. You don’t want to end up paying for items you don’t need just because it seemed attractive and inexpensive at the store.

With so many deals going on it’s easy to become overwhelmed. All you have to do is plan ahead of time and make sure you don’t get too caught up in the buying frenzy. There are plenty of sites online that are dedicated to announcing Black Friday deals prior to the day so that you can figure out the best course of action to make this year’s Black Friday the easiest and most successful one yet.

Check out these sites for advanced Black Friday announcements: Black Friday 2011,,, and


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