You don't necessarily have to wake up in the wee hours or battle
the crowds to get the best deals on Black Friday. In fact, you
might not even have to step foot in a store the day after
Thanksgiving to get the lowest prices on the items on your holiday
12 Ways to Save More, Spend Less on Black Friday
If you're trying to snag a limited-quantity item at a deep
discount (such as a doorbuster item), you'll need to get to the
store early to get a good spot in line. But if one of these items
isn't on your list, there are several other strategies you can use
to make the most of Black Friday sales.
Check leaked ads.
Plenty of Web sites, such as
, publish Black Friday ads before they appear on retailers' Web
sites or in newspapers. You can use these leaked ads as a starting
point for planning your purchases and comparing prices, but realize
that the information isn't confirmed. Most legitimate ads aren't
published until a few days before Black Friday.
Sign up for e-mail alerts
from your favorite retailers to get updates on Black Friday store
hours and sneak peaks at their Black Friday ads. Money-saving
expert Andrea Woroch recommends setting up a new e-mail account to
receive these alerts so that the account you regularly use doesn't
get clogged with retailers' messages.
Follow your favorite brands on Facebook and
to learn about their Black Friday deals and to get exclusive
Shop online first.
Not all the best deals are in the stores on Black Friday.
Dealnews.com found that 70% of the in-store deals that it checked
on Black Friday 2011 were also available online. And some retailers
start offering Black Friday deals online as early as Wednesday
night or Thanksgiving morning. Amazon.com is having a Black Friday
Deals Week, starting November 18. Michael Brim, founder of
BFAds.net, recommends shopping online first to see how many items
on your list you can purchase at a discount. Then you can decide
whether it's worth your time to go to the stores on Black Friday.
If you can get discounted items shipped for free, you'll come out
ahead shopping online than in stores because you'll save on gas and
parking costs. See our
15 favorite sites for finding deals online
Don't wait until Black Friday to shop.
Many stores start offering Black Friday deals on Thursday. For
example, Walmart, Kmart, Toys R Us and Sears will open their doors
at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Target's sale starts at 9 p.m. November
22. Also, look for sales leading up to Black Friday. Brim says that
these sales do not usually compete fully with Black Friday but
sometimes feature select items at their Black Friday prices.
Use your smartphone.
You can scan barcodes with Amazon Price Check (Android, iPhone),
Google Shopper (Android, iPad, iPhone) or RedLaser (Android,
iPhone, Windows Phone) to compare the store's price with online
offerings. And you can use apps such as Foursquare and Shopkick to
"check in" to stores and receive in-store coupons and special
offers. Coupon Sherpa is another good app for in-store coupons.
Many stores also have their own shopping apps (as well as Facebook
pages and Twitter feeds) that provide exclusive discounts and
coupon codes. Dealnews expects the number of these promotions to
rise this holiday season. For example, the Target app lets
consumers scan QR codes for its Top 20 toys in stores, print ads
and TV then purchase items at the advertised price and get free
shipping. (Hold off on toy purchases, though, until December -- see
Best and Worst Buys of November
Buy discounted gift cards
to use for your own shopping to score additional discounts. For
example, buy a $100 Macy's gift card for $90 (instant $10 savings)
and use it in the store or online. You can find discounted gift
cards at sites such as
Stick to your shopping list.
If an item on your list already is sold out by the time you get to
the store, don't "buy whatever is in arm's reach just to get
something," Brim says. "Chances are that something is not
discounted and will be cheaper later on in the holiday season."
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