The day after Thanksgiving is commonly called “Black Friday” and is the official start of the winter holiday shopping season. The term has come to represent the period during which a retailer turns a profit, referred to as being “in the black.” Retailers open at midnight or in the wee hours of the morning, with enthusiastic shoppers camping outside their doors shortly after finishing their Thanksgiving dinner. Finding the best deals can be frustrating unless you know how to use this day to your advantage.
Step 1: Before bundling up and heading out the door for the adventure that is Black Friday, review sales advertisements to see which stores will offer must-have items at the lowest prices. You need not wait until Thanksgiving to do this because stores like Walmart have already published electronic versions of their Black Friday sales circulars. To find others, visit Black Friday leak Web sites like BlackFriday.info and BFAds.net.
Step 2: Rather than just assuming the best price really is a deal, compare prices using sites like Shopzilla, Pricegrabber, Dealtime, and Shopping.com. Also, keep in mind that if the store-advertised price really is a deal, other people will be eager to take advantage of it. This means you must get to the store early.
Step 3: Retailers seem to open their doors earlier than the year before, so be aware of the operating hours for each store you plan to visit. Some stores may even open on Thanksgiving. If you want their hottest items, get your turkey dinner to go.
Step 4: Knowing store hours is often not enough, as the best deals may only be offered for a limited period during the day. Research the hours that these doorbuster deals will be offered and make sure you are in, or lined up outside of, the store before this time. Learning the inventory level of each deal will help you determine how far in advance you should arrive. Read the sales ads to find this information.
Step 5: In this age of technology, major retailers usually post deals on their Twitter and Facebook pages, offering special offers to customers in their social network. To get these deals, add the desired stores as Facebook friends and follow them on Twitter.