How to Shop Most Effectively on Black Friday
If you’re planning to head out into the crowds for Black Friday shopping, here’s some tips to help make your trip a little easier.
Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org, has come up with a list of tips for shopping on Black Friday.
1. Read the ads in advance
2. Combine sale prices with coupons that give you a percentage-off or a set number of dollars off. And finally, look for items that also have a cash back rebate
3. Go early. Here’s a look at when some popular stores are opening:
Best Buy: midnight Thursday
Kohl’s: midnight Thursday
Kmart: 8pm Thursday
Macy’s: midnight Thursday
Sears: 8pm Thursday
Target: 9pm Thursday
Toys”R”Us 8pm Thursday
Walmart: 8pm Thursday
Most others: 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. Friday
4. Some stores may make their Black Friday deals available to “members” days early, so take advantage if you can.
Some other tips?
Read the ads. You can preview Black Friday sales circulars at bfads.net, blackfriday.com and blackfriday.gotadeal.com. Also, visit store websites for unannounced bargains and look for deals and coupons on their Facebook pages.
Evaluate the deals. Check out price comparison websites such as PriceGrabber, PriceSpider, Shopping.com to see if the advertised price really is a bargain. Use BizRate and ResellerRatings to check the reputation of an online merchant.
Study the reviews. For customer reviews, head to Epinions.com or read the user comments posted with products on Amazon.com. For professional ratings, visit sites like Consumer Reports, Steve’s Digicams (for cameras), PCMagazine or PCWorld (for computers), CNET (for all sorts of electronics) and the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.
Save more with price-match guarantees. Many chain stores now offer some sort of price protection guarantee. You may be entitled to a refund if the price goes down at the store or a competitor offers the exact item at a lower price before Christmas. Sites such as FreePrice Alerts, CamelCamelCamel, PriceDropAlert and DealAlerter and will let you know if the item you’re tracking drops in price. Consumer World recently published a list of price-matching policies at major retailers.