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Black Friday 2011

It’s that time of year again…Black Friday is just around the corner, and the Money-Guy is here to make sure you have everything you need to get the best deals this holiday season.

A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that Black Friday will be creeping into Thanksgiving Thursday in 2011.  Apparently, many big store chains, including Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Best Buy, are planning to open at midnight after Thanksgiving this year in hopes of getting a jump on the competition.

It seems that every year, retailers go to higher extremes to compete for shoppers’ cash.  All the while, most of us hate crawling out of bed at 4 a.m. (or now, midnight) to fight in line for the hottest new item.  The tips we cover in today’s show reveal how to handle the Black Friday deals without giving in to the mania.

The November 2011 edition of Money Adviser includes some great advice for surviving Black Friday:

  • The deals won’t disappear:  While the weekend following Thanksgiving is considered prime shopping time, many of the deals continue throughout the holiday season.  Be careful, though.  Many retailers hike their prices up immediately after Christmas in anticipation of shoppers using gift cards.  If you receive a gift card as a present, you should wait until prices fall back to normal to use them.
  • Is it worth breaking down the door?  The best door-buster items are typically limited.  If you decide to take your shot for the half-off computer, be prepared to wait in long lines and brace yourself for disappointment.
  • Sniff out appealing specials in advance:  There are many websites you can use as a resource for Black Friday specials.  Fatwallet, Gottadeal, TheBlackFriday, Bizrate, and Nextag are all mentioned in the Consumer Reports article.  We also recommend RetailMeNot, Pricegrabber and the TGI Black Friday App.
  • Sign up for e-mail alerts:  Many stores offer special sales and coupons if you sign up for their newsletters.  If you hate receiving loads of e-mail, though, use the apps and websites to directly search for your deals.
  • Look for a price guarantee:  Some retailers offer a refund if you buy an item that goes on sale right after you purchase it.  In addition, many will offer a price match if you find an item for a lower price elsewhere.
  • Check return policies:  Make sure you know the return policy, especially since many DVDs, video games, etc. can not be returned if the seal is broken.  Some retailers require that you have the receipt for returns, while others will only offer store credit.

A few other tips from the Money-Guys:

  • Utilize UPromise to do your holiday shopping and save money for college at the same time.
  • Pay with your rewards credit cards in order to get some money back.
  • Check for warranty packages offered as an added bonus through your credit card.
  • Before you go shopping, make a list and try to stick to it.

As you can see, it is possible to take advantage of holiday deals from the comfort of your own home.  We would love to hear any Black Friday shopping tips that you guys have.  Feel free to share them below or on our Facebook page!

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