November 26, 2014 2:20 am
Be prepared – Study the ads beforehand. Many retailers advertise their in-store specials early, so check a Black Friday-focused website such as bfads.net or blackfriday.info to see where the best deals are.
Shop online first – Before you brave the crowds, check to see if the retailer is offering the same or even better deals on its website. Some retailers offer online sales during Black Friday week that include many of the same deals to be offered in-store. There may even be some online-only specials, like no-cost shipping.
Use social media – Check the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of your favorite stores or brands to see if they're offering discount incentives when you "like" their page or follow them.
Get appy – Load your smart phone with a few comparison-shopping apps, such as ShopSavvy or ShopKick, that let you compare prices while you're in the store. If you see that an item is cheaper at another store, try showing that price on your phone to a store manager and see if he or she will match that deal.
Check the return policy – You may find it’s different for a Black Friday special. Are all sales final? Is there a shortened return or exchange policy? Can you get a refund or only store credit? What about a restocking fee on a returned item?
Check the warranty – Some manufacturers offer "derivative" models during promotional periods like Black Friday. Be sure you can live with the warranty terms being offered.
Avoid buying pricey accessories – An easy ways to blow your great deal is to pad the deal with pricey accessories. This is where retailers make their money, so avoid the hard sell at point of sale.
Avoid bait-and-switch tactics – Sometimes, retailers will advertise a great deal on a certain TV but denigrate it once you're in the store, hoping they can push you to a more profitable model. Stick to your budget and resist efforts to ‘upgrade’ you to a model that may not be such a great deal.
Published with permission from RISMedia.