Black Friday Bargain Hunting Tips

Black Friday 2011, the day after Thanksgiving, is on November 25 this year. And it’s exactly one month before Christmas. And this time-honored tradition will definitely bring out the bargain hunter in all of us. Below now are some Black Friday bargain hunting tips which you should know.

1. Do your research! Check the circulars and the online ads. Most places will release their Black Friday ad two days before the sale (the day before Thanksgiving). Compare to online retailers and other stores to make sure that sale is worth getting up at 3 a.m. and waiting in a 250-person line.

2. Avoid the gimmicks! Don’t fall for tricks like free gifts and discounts, unless they’re actually worthwhile. Make your list, know what you’re after, and hone in on it like a laser-guided missile.

3. Bring the ads with you! Some places offer the “lowest price guarantee,” which means that if their competitor is offering something for less, they’ll match it.

4. Clip the coupons! This one could also be titled, “Know the Store’s Policies!” You would think that on a day like Black Friday, stores would be stupid to let you add a coupon discount on top of their already-crazy savings.

But some of them still do, particularly department stores. If you’ve been waiting to use that 20-percent-off-a-purchase-of-50-dollars-or-more coupon, now’s the time! But find out ahead of time if you can use it — you don’t want to look like an amateur, do you?

5. Shop online first! I already mentioned using the ‘net to compare prices, but you’d be surprised at how much shopping you can do on Amazon and other online retailers first. Some of these places already offer merchandise at sale prices that are lower than the stores… so figure out ahead of time if the deal is really worth the perilous trek!

Some major retailers will even “leak” their Black Friday ads a few days early. Search “Black Friday ads” to find them — there are entire websites devoted to sale ads.

And finally, don’t forget about Cyber Monday, which falls three days after Black Friday. This newer sale tradition is beginning to eclipse its elder cousin. Probably because people don’t have to leave the house and risk being trampled.

Happy bargain-hunting!