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Black Friday Shopping? Four Key Tips Before You Hit Stores

Is Black Friday on Thanksgiving the New Holiday Tradition 2:22

Now that the holiday shopping season has officially started, the American consumer is going to be inundated by retailers from all sides offering spectacular deals. But are they real savings opportunities? How can one best score a bargain? Here are some simple tips to get you through the next four weeks.

1. Check the Calendar:

You can find great offers on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Check out the consumer website DealNews’ guide to What to Buy When. Not everything is cheaper on Black Friday: you’ll find lower prices on items like toys, tools and designer clothing if you’re willing to wait. You may not get your first-choice item, but you’ll get a better deal. Here’s DealNews’ list of 11 Things Not to Buy on Black Friday.

2. Get a Credit Card with Price Protection:

Some credit cards offer “price protection.” If you find a lower price on an item you’ve purchased, the issuer will refund the difference. There are some restrictions, but it can be a good way to save money. Here’s a list of Cards Offering Price Protection, from consumer news site NerdWallet.

3. Use Your Smartphone Wisely:

Google reports mobile shopping searches are up 3.5 times over last year. Search for a better deal online before you buy. If you find a better price elsewhere, talk to a manager. They may be willing to match it. DealNews has a list of Price Matching Policies for Major Retailers and many apps will help you compare prices and find special offers. The technology guide Digital Trends offers a list of 10 Apps to Help You Find Deals on Black Friday.

4. Buy Discount Gift Cards:

Exchanges like Cardpool and Raise allow you to buy gift cards at deep discounts. Use them at store for your holiday shopping and you can save twice!