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Riley Heruska
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Bargain hunters across the country have been waiting to pounce on amazing deals as soon as Thanksgiving ends. Black Friday is known for its huge retail discounts, as well as freebies and unbelievable promotions. Shopping during the week leading up to the big day can save you a pretty penny, but there are some things you should know about this highly-anticipated shopping period. 

Browse the Current Deals Now, But Be Willing to Wait for the Weekend After Turkey Day

There are already dozens of Black Friday promotions plastered across storefronts and the Internet, but don't let them fool you. Keep an eye open for deals that you simply can't pass up, but otherwise, wait to see if prices will drop even more as Black Friday draws near. Chances are, your favorite retailers haven't started their best discounts yet, so it can pay to be patient. 

Do Your Homework and Be Prepared 

As you see advertisements for various Black Friday bargains, take note. Start to keep track of what stores you want to check out and how much you can save at each. By formulating a game plane in advance, you can figure out what retailers are worth visiting in person and which you should simply browse online. Speaking of shopping online, make sure that your payment information is already saved on websites like Amazon that have lightning deals so you can act quickly. There's nothing more frustrating than losing a great purchase because you couldn't snag one in time. Also, make sure to check products' price histories before getting too excited about any discount. Sometimes stores make it seem like you're saving big bucks when their merchandise was actually overpriced to begin with. It pays to know what you're shopping for and what discounts are really worthwhile. 

Arrive at Stores Early If You Want to Snag In-Person Doorbusters 

Should you decide to set foot outside and brave the rampant chaos that is Black Friday on November 24, be prepared to wake up at the crack of dawn. Doorbusters are the best sales you can find, and they usually come in limited quantities that sell out early on in the day. If you're hoping to be one of the lucky shoppers who claims a cheap 4K TV, you'll probably need to arrive before the store even opens. Early bird gets the worm and all that. 

Opt for Online Steals When You Can 

There's a reason 59 percent of consumers plan to do their shopping over the Internet: it's much less stressful to browse deals from the comfort of your own home instead of battling insane crowds in stores. Plus, many stores offer free shipping during the Thanksgiving period, so it's even more cost-effective to shop online than usual. You can also monitor several different retailers at once instead of dashing from place to place in a frenzied panic. 

Make Sure You Aren't Falling Prey to Inflated Discounts 

According to NerdWallet, retailers sometimes inflate the original price of a product so that it looks like you're getting a better deal than you really are. It's easy to feel skeptical about deals when stores might be trying to trick you, so do your own research before stumbling into a pricey trap. You really can save big on the day after Thanksgiving, so don't disregard a great discount if it seems to check out with other sources. 

Always Read the Fine Print 

Many retailers will place limitations on a sale, as well as exclusions or other sneaky tricks. Before you make a plan to purchase something, make sure you read all the details and know what's really going on so you aren't blindsided when Black Friday rolls around. Pay especially close attention to sales' start and end times. 


Have tips for other Black Friday shoppers? Share them in the comments below! 

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