This Friday, hundreds of thousands of shoppers will converge on the stores of America in search of awesome bargains. From netbooks to flat-screens, many holiday gifts will be on sale for one day only.
Whether you’re planning on setting up camp at the front doors before Thanksgiving dinner is even over, or you’re the type who prefers to shop from the comfort of your couch, these tips can help you make the most of your Black Friday bargain-hunting experience.
Don't feel like clicking through 10 different Web sites to find the lowest price on that flat-screen? Fortunately, other people have already done the hard work for you.
Sites like DealNews give you breakdowns of the major retailers' best deals in multiple categories of items, all price-checked and confirmed. DealNews even has a Black Friday iPhone app. (Click here to see the app in iTunes.)
(And check out DealNews' Guide to the Best Deals on Black Friday)
If you think those people waiting in tents outside Best Buy at 2 a.m. are a little nuts, you might be right... but there's no denying that they're committed to getting the best deals. Stores often hand out vouchers to customers who are first in line, offering them significant price cuts that no one else will get.
In this economy, we wouldn't blame you for finding your sleeping bag and lining up early.
If you're waiting around for a ridiculously low price on that MacBook or iPod, it's not coming. Apple plans to offer Black Friday deals this year, but they probably will not be huge. You'll probably get anywhere from 5% to 10% off, and that will most likely be the lowest price you'll see for the rest of the year.
You can also find good refurbished deals on Apple's Web site or in stores almost all the time. And, of course, don't forget about Apple's year-round discounts for students and teachers.
Doorbuster deals are often only on no-name brands; just because a store is offering a great price on a lousy product is no reason to buy it. Avoid the temptation to lunge at the 'amazing' deal, and wait it out. Many prices actually go down closer to the holidays.
Do your homework. Go online and check out those 'in-store-only' deals ahead of time, so you know what you want and how much it's going to cost you. Then take advantage of sites like Bizrate to make sure you're getting the lowest possible price.
And before you hit the mall armed with those stacks of circulars you've been collecting, try checking the stores' Web sites. They'll often post 'secret deals,' not listed in the paper ads, on Thursday.
Think long and hard about deals in the form of mail-in rebates. You only get that money back if you actually remember to mail it in. So if you're not likely to do so, that purchase isn't much of a deal.
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