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Holiday Deals: Top 10 Black Friday Shopping Tips and Tricks

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Related Feature: Thanksgiving & Black Friday in NH: Mall & Other Store Hours and Early Shopping Deals

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. After the stuffing and tryptophan overload, it will be time to put on your game-face and bust-through some retail doors for the best holiday shopping deals.

Many stores are open on Thanksgiving night, offering post-meal deals to those who dare venture out. For the rest, another wave of doorbusters generally follows in the wee morning hours on Black Friday.

Here are some tips to get you through the madness without a scratch and (hopefully) with your prize in hand:

Do Your Homework

Research Thanksgiving and Black Friday store hours and doorbuster schedules to plan your route.  Visit store Web sites for early previews at their sales fliers. “Like” or follow your favorite stores on social media for special fan incentives.

E-mail & Text Alerts

Let the research come to you. Sign up for email newsletters and text alerts from your favorite stores. Email and text customers are often the first to receive sales information, and they often receive exclusive coupons, too!

Online Deals

Cyber sales aren’t just for Monday anymore! Many retailers will post their Black Friday specials online and some businesses offer in-store pickup. Check your favorite store’s Web site for early “Web only” deals available starting as early as Thanksgiving Day.

Bring a Buddy

Black Friday shopping is a frenzied mess. A buddy offers both moral support and a tag-team advantage! Once you have gathered some goods, have one buddy stand in the guaranteed-long lines, and switch-off to go grab some supplementary loot! Be sure to car-pool, though, you don’t want to have to find more than one parking space!

Bring a Canvas Shopping Bag

Shopping carts and baskets will be scarce, but everyone has a stockpile of canvas shopping bags—now is the time to use them! (Always double-check this practice with store management)

Limited Quantities

Some of the hottest deals offered on Black Friday are often only stocked in small quantities. But smaller items like movies, games, and seasonal novelties are more abundant.  Plan ahead with a list of smaller gifts you need for a more successful trip.

Bring the Ads

Avoid holiday heckling; bring the advertized prices with you. This also helps at stores offering a “lowest-price” guarantee! This works best with sales fliers since most stores will not match online prices, but it can’t hurt to ask!

Know Store Policy

Shopping on Black Friday means you are likely purchasing gifts nearly a month in advance. Find out about exchange policies, return windows, and restocking fees before you do your shopping.

Use Store Credit Cards

Rule #1 in holiday shopping is to make a budget you can stick to. Once your budget is established, then you can look into special discounts and warranties offered if you make purchases on your store credit cards.

Gift Receipts

Gift receipts facilitate exchanges or returns while keeping amount-spent a secret. Many stores automatically provide you with a gift receipt, but make sure you ask at the register so you can be sure to have one.


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