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Black Friday Shopping Tips

By 9:30 AM

With Black Friday coming up in just a few days, I'm sure you're all devising plans for what shops to hit and what time you should be ready to hit the sales. I don't know about you, but everyone I know seems to strategize like thieves when it comes to Black Friday sales! So in honor of the annual day of shopping, here's a few tips for you to get the best bargains you can!

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1. Compare prices and research early.

One of the most important things to do before partaking in some serious Black Friday shopping is to research, research, research! Compile a list of the items you're looking for in particular and browse the deals on those items prior to shopping. Obviously you want to find the best deal you can, so you don't want to pick up the item you need at the first store you go to, only to find that it was cheaper somewhere else.

You can check out the ads in papers, websites, and even apps to find the best deals. Do your research, compare prices, and then hit those stores with the best prices! It'll help you save money and time.

Getting as organized as you can will also help keep you from spending money on frivolous items that you don't really need, because more often that not, because will buy things just because they're on sale. Not because they actually need them!

2. Check out early bird and night owl specials.

You'll find that many stores will offer early bird and night owl specials to help draw customers in, and the great thing about these is that not everyone is willing to get up super early or stay out incredibly late to get a good deal. Most early bird deals are between 4 and 11 a.m., while night owl specials are typically between midnight and 4 a.m. Either is good depending on what time you'd rather be out and about. Also, these particular deals are great because early bird/night owl specials are only available during those times, so they'll usually be the best deals.

3. Bring in ads and negotiate.

What a lot of customers don't realize is that some stores will guarantee low prices in their sale ads, but then they'll have different prices in the stores. Keep your ads with you while shopping as proof to call out a store if their prices aren't actually as low as they advertised. Not many people think to do this, so you're even more likely to get a deal with this method. 

4. Always get gift receipts.

During big sales on Black Friday, most stores get incredibly strict with return policies. It's important to research a store's policies before shopping there so you know where to avoid and where the best policies are. A lot of stores won't allow you to return items purchased on Black Friday, but requesting a gift receipt is the best way to get around that.

Getting a gift receipt with items, regardless of whether they're actually for someone else or not, is a good idea because it's very likely that you'll actually be able to return the item if you need to. Some stores give gift receipts automatically during the holiday season, but it's good to ask just to make sure.

5. DON'T buy these items.

There are definitely a few items that should really be avoided on Black Friday. These include:

Toys
While there will be a lot of discounted toys on Black Friday, this is not the best time to purchase them. The best sales on toys will occur around two weeks prior to Christmas, so wait and keep your eyes peeled for those sales instead.

Brand-name TVs
Televisions that are name brand won't be hitting the lowest prices points until January and February, as this is the time that manufacturers are usually preparing to sell newer models and want to get rid of the stock of last year's TVs. 

Christmas Decor
People usually end up buying Christmas decor on Black Friday as an impulse buy, but try to fight the urge! Deals on Christmas decorations get better the closer to Christmas we get, and of course don't forget the post-Christmas sales.

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MORE TIPS:

Avoid getting scammed this Black Friday by being extra wary of bogus sales, fake emails and coupons. A lot of people get lured into scams with phony emails sent to their accounts during this season. If you don't recognize the sender's address, don't open it. Also, if you're not sure if a deal is for real or not, check the retailer's website. You'll be able to find it if it's legitimate. 


STAYING SAFE

Unfortunately, it's incredibly likely for people to get their credit card information or identity stolen around this time of year. When shopping on Black Friday, it's wise to either stick with a credit card (rather than debit) or just use cash. If someone steals your information, it's a lot easier to work that out with your bank and insurance company with a credit card. Ultimately, however, it's easiest to avoid this altogether by carrying cash and only using that for purchases on Black Friday. 


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