Getting the best deals on Black Friday

Starting the week of Thanksgiving, holiday shopping will be in full swing. It seems to creep up earlier each year. Instead of Black Friday being the day after Thanksgiving, it’s now an entire weekend with some stores opening Thanksgiving night. If you’re looking for deals for yourself or your loved ones, this is the time of year when you can really find them.

Consumer Reports lists 12 tips for getting the best deals as follows:

  • Shop the ads before Black Friday
  • Shop online first
  • Sign up for e-mail alerts
  • Check out QR codes
  • Shop close to home
  • Check the stores’ return policies
  • Check the warranty
  • See if you can get a price-match guarantee
  • Check specially priced “bundles”
  • Buy the item you really want
  • Avoid the old bait-and-switch trick
  • Don’t buy pricey accessories
Here are some of my thoughts on these:
  • Comparison shopping online and in ads leading up to Black Friday helps you establish what a good price is for the item you want. That way, if you see a really good price you’ll know when to buy.
  • Not all return policies are created equal. It may be a good idea to look at a store’s policy before buying from them. All else being equal, choose the store with the better policy.
  • As for warranties, some credit cards will double the manufacturer’s warranty up to one additional year. Check with your credit card company to see if your card is eligible instead of purchasing an extended warranty.
  • This year, you may not have to leave your house to find a deal on Black Friday. More companies are offering deals on their websites as well as in-store.
  • Retailers often advertise a basic, stripped-down version of a product with a rock-bottom price to get you in the door. Once you’re in they try to upsell you to a fancier model. Being aware of this tactic will help you avoid their desperate pitches.

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