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How to prepare for Black Friday

By Metro
Nov. 22, 2017 at 10:47 a.m.
Updated Nov. 22, 2017 at 10:47 a.m.

Woman with colorful shopping bags waiting for transport

Black Friday devotees know that the day after Thanksgiving is a day for deals. While some shoppers may associate Black Friday with midnight openings or crowded stores, many retailers have gone to great lengths to make Black Friday shopping safer and more customer-friendly.

Shoppers who want to land the best Black Friday deals need not camp outside their favorite stores on Thanksgiving night. Oftentimes, landing the best deals just takes a little preparation and due diligence on the part of shoppers.

Peruse Black Friday ads in advance of the big day. Many retailers begin advertising their Black Friday deals well in advance of Thanksgiving. Shoppers who know which stores they want to visit on Black Friday should begin looking for those stores' fliers in early November, and continue to do so as Black Friday draws closer. This gives shoppers a chance to plan their Black Friday shopping so they can visit stores with the most enticing or time-sensitive deals first.

Create a list and make shopping a team effort. Once retailers have announced the details of their Black Friday sales, shoppers can make a list of items they hope to purchase. When shopping, don't go it alone. Instead, team up with a spouse, neighbor or older children who can then be given certain items to find in the store once doors open.

Bring snacks. Unless shoppers are visiting specialty retailers who cater to a small and very distinct clientele, they should expect long checkout lines on Black Friday. As a result, shoppers should bring healthy snacks along so they get an energy boost and don't succumb to hunger while waiting on line.

Download retailer apps. Many retailers now have their own smartphone apps, which may or may not advertise Black Friday deals. Download such apps so you can stay up-to-date on the latest deals. Some retailers may even match their competitors' app-advertised deals.

Bring an envelope for receipts. Many Black Friday deals include discounts that are offered via mail-in rebates. These rebates typically require consumers mail their receipts to a retailer or manufacturer listed on the receipt. Shoppers can avoid losing out on rebate-based savings by bringing along an envelope for their receipts.

Black Friday is a day for deals. Holiday shoppers who plan ahead can save substantial amounts of money and may even get much of their shopping done early.

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