Your Black Friday shopping can be successful and less stressful if you go in with a strategy. Tara Lynn Wagner filed this report.
Let the frenzy begin!
"Shopping is a sport, and Black Friday is the Superbowl," says Mark LoCastro, shopping expert at DealNews.com
And like the Superbowl, it seems to keep getting longer - with the event now spanning a full five days. Like it or not, LoCastro says the best deals can be found before your turkey has a chance to get cold.
"Don’t wait until Black Friday proper. Start your shopping early and that said, on Thanksgiving," he says.
His website found that Turkey Day discounts will be deeper than those offered on Black Friday for the second year in a row. And that's in a year when he says the deals in general are looking really good.
"We’re seeing all time price lows on items that we’d never seen this low before. For example, Best Buy has a Panasonic 50-inch LED TV for $200. This is a true door buster,” says LoCastro.
That of course usually means severely limited quantities and in store purchases only. But even if you miss the TV, there are lots of other opportunities to save. To start, scour flyers and check websites to see what's on sale when. This is particularly important since many retailers offer different discounts on different items on different days.
"You will see a lot of deal staggering, which is kind of a new phenomenon that started popping up last year and stores do that particularly around Black Friday to avoid that bottle-necking," says Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor at RetailMeNot.com
Next, embrace technology. According to Google, the number of people using their phones to do shopping searches has grown 3 and a half times over the past year. Jeanette Pavini says a smart way to do it is to go online while you are in line.
"If you’re in a store and let’s say it’s a store that offers a price matching policy, well you can find out if any other retailers have it at a lower price and you can say “Hey, you know I found it at this store will you honor that price?”” says Pavini, savings expert at Coupons.com
She is also a huge fan of price adjustments, so save your receipts.
"Most stores have a seven to 14-day window, where if that price goes down, you can get the money back in the difference between what you paid and the sale price. I have saved thousands of dollars in my lifetime doing this."
Of course, it is possible to get great deals without even getting out of your jammies. We will look at Cyber Monday in our next Money Matters report.