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Black Friday shopping tips to keep in mind

Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the biggest shopping day of the year. Discount-crazed shoppers will be dominating stores and malls in search of the best deals, just in time for Christmas.

If you plan on braving the aisles, it’s important to play it safe. There are a few key details that any smart shopper will need to put to use this Black Friday.

Any shopper who’s worth their salt will tell you to always bring a list on your shopping trip. Lists prevent useless spending and spur-of-the-moment purchases. Because Black Friday is a shopping day based around spending money, it’s tempting to buy something unnecessary because it looks like a good deal.

Price shopping is very important on such a large shopping day. Newspapers will be stuffed full of circulars and inserts with store’s Black Friday deals. Compare ads from print and the internet to find the best deals.

Mapping out the shopping trip is key, as well. Since some stores can be located farther away from one another, checking out the start time of the sales, as well as shopping closer locations, can save you time and money.

Seasoned Black Friday shoppers will recommend coming prepared. This means arming yourself with ads showing your important items, and their prices. Because many stores price match, you can limit your trip to just a few places.

It’s also important to prepare yourself, physically. Dress in layers in case the temperature drops, or you get hot in a store. You may also want to bring a drink (bottle of water), and quick snack (granola bar), to save time from having to stop somewhere.

Sometimes, shoppers are able to shop before Black Friday and still get the steep discount. Both MasterCard and Visa offer a reimbursement for the cost difference if an advertised Black Friday price is lower than the price you recently paid for the same item. All you  need is to send the receipt, ad and a claim form within 60 days of the store’s ad publication.

If you’re weary of hitting the mall, a lot of retailers will also offer their Black Friday deals on their website. Since many of these stores also offer free “site-to-store” delivery, you can save gas money by picking up the item whenever you’re visiting that store for your regular shopping trips.

Subscribing to the retailers text or email list can get you in line for exclusive sales, too. Some of these stores offer birthday discounts, as well as new customer discounts, so sign up close to Black Friday.

According to the Black Friday website, many stores offer extra discounts and warranties if you make purchases on your store card. This, when paid in full as if it were cash, can offer extra savings benefits. For example, on Black Friday last year, Kohl’s stores offered 50 percent off your entire purchase if you simply applied for their credit card. Store associates should inform you of these deals upon entering the store or checking out.

Keep in mind these tips, and you should be guaranteed a successful and money-saving Black Friday shopping trip.