11/22/2011 1:31 PM ET|
10 rules of Black Friday shopping
Whether you're buying online or trying to beat the rush at a brick-and-mortar store, follow what the pros do to snag the best bargains the day after Thanksgiving.
Sure, anyone can snag a discount on Black Friday. But the real pros walk away with some amazing deals and stay within their budgets.
What are their secrets? Research and planning help them make the right choices, coupons sweeten their deals and technology helps them beat others to the purchases.
Few shoppers will score one those "doorbusters" that are stocked 10 to a store, but those who prepare can land most of the better bargains.
"A good game plan goes a long way," says Michael Brim, who runs BFAds.net, a Black Friday deals site.
This year, the competition for those bargains will be stiff. As many as 152 million people are planning to shop Black Friday weekend, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation and BIGresearch, up from 138 million who said so last year. Of those, 74 million say they will definitely hit the stores, jockeying for a shot at a $79.99 HDTV, a $179.99 laptop computer or other deals.
The rest will be scouring the Web trying to nab some of these deals without queuing up in the cold. Here is MSN Money's step-by-step guide to landing some of the best bargains, whether you're shopping from your computer or braving the crowds:
1. Make a list
This sounds obvious, but it's critical. There are a lot of hyped-up deals and promotions working to get you to buy more than you really need. If you don't come up with a gift list and identify what you think your friends and family really want, you'll buy more stuff to hedge your bets. And chances are, these impulse buys aren't what the people in your life really want.
2. Check ads online
In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, leaked store advertisements have started landing on such sites as Slickdeals and Black Friday@ GottaDeal.com. Find the items you're looking for -- or something similar -- in those ads, and compare prices among retailers. Many offer buying guides or price comparison charts for product categories such as TVs, cameras or laptops.
3. Compare upcoming sale prices with current prices online
Don't assume that the best deals are to be had only in the big ads on Black Friday. Compare prices on sites such as Bing, PriceGrabber and Nextag to find the lowest prices for your products leading up to Black Friday, and check deal sites such as Dealnews for retailers offering early Black Friday pricing on select items.
Also, read online reviews of the sale items you're considering. If one-star reviews are what you find for that brand, consider paying a few extra bucks for something that will function better or last longer.
4. Connect deals with coupons
Often you can pair sales with coupons, making the deals even sweeter. Check out coupon sites such as RetailMeNot, and the Bargainist, as well as the slew of Black Friday deal sites, to find online coupon codes and printable coupons. Follow your favorite stores on Twitter or "like" them on Facebook to garner extra discounts. Sign up for mobile text alerts from your favorite stores. Look for Groupon and Living Social deals. Some die-hard shoppers also scour eBay to buy coupons and discounted gift cards to use in their purchases.
5. Update your data with online retailers
Make sure you're ready to snap up the bargains before they sell out by taking some time beforehand to create an account with online retailers that you plan to buy from on Black Friday, says Brad Olson, the owner of Black Friday @ GottaDeal.com. Save your address and credit card information. Once you've logged in, you can even try to save Black Friday items to a cart or wish list and pull them up again when the Black Friday sales start.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Best advice about shopping on black Friday. DON'T, it's a farce. Retailers have SOME great deals, but its only a limited supply (sometimes only about a dozen televisions, for instance) that way you will think that you missed a deal and buy the next best item or something comparable. The point is to get you in the door, so why risk injury and crowds for an item that will sell to the first 10 people. WTH?!
Anywya, You've spent more than you are ready to spend and retailers know this. Its psychological, you feel as if you HAVE to buy something. Another trick is raising the price a few weeks before black Friday, then dropping it back to the regular price on that day. That way, you feel as if you have gotten a deal, when you paid the regular price for the time. I don't understand why a country who is in a real financial crisis still promotes irresponsible spending.
The same people who said that the middle class caused the debt crisis in the same breath asks them to use credit, and savings to spend it all on Christmas gifts. Really? We have to stop and pay attention to the contradictory messages thrown at us. They claim that it brings jobs, yes but they are temporary jobs at low wages.
What we need are real jobs that will last, not one's that last only during the holidays. I Refuse to shop on Black Friday and I think everyone should follow suit. But, if you feel as if you must shop then wait until the week after Christmas or so.
Not only will you be able to get next year's Christmas items for 50-75% off, you will also be able to take advantage of great deals on other items. If you want electronics, one of my tekkie friends told me that February is a great time to buy because (and forgive me if I am incorrect) its either right before or after the tech convention that features the new tech items and upgrades for the year and the stores place the "older" versions on sale to make way for the newer models (which as we all know for the most part are almost indistiguishable.)
So, I agree with this article only in if you must shop, be smart. But, don't shop because the television tells you to. Shop because you can afford it and have prepared. otherwise, stay home and wait for the real bargains.
-Black Friday is a Good word. But think about, if you can't afford now , you can't on that day either.
-For me it doesn't matter how cheap and how many black days per week, if there is nothing
I need. I'm not even going out.
-75% Americans love to shop on these days, that's why most people have a lot of junk.
Why...? Because you don't think before you buy. You buy because the price, but you don't really need.
Charlie Brown is right. Christmas was created by a large Eastern syndicate.
Now it is controlled by a large Far East syndicate. Christmas, China's most profitable season.
Black Friday=Bait and Switch Friday
I'm at home, staying home.
On Monday before Thanksgiving, I bought a pair of name brand running shoes online that lists for $89.99, but were on sale for $29.99. Great deal as they were really on sale and I didn't want to spend too much. Today, on Thanksgiving day, I get a link to that website showing their Black Friday sales. Yep, those exact same shoes I just bought were 'on sale' FOR $59.99! WHAT A BARGAIN- NOT! As they say, "all that glitters is not gold."
I have one rule for black friday...STAY HOME and relax!
nothing is worth this type of insanity.
i remember the day after thanksgiving was the time all the stores would bring out the decorations and advertising for the christmas season. now it starts just after Halloween....
Well the only jobs left in the US Anymore are retail. We all know this already.
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