Smart Shopper: How to find the BEST Black Friday deals this year - East Valley Tribune: Business

Smart Shopper: How to find the BEST Black Friday deals this year

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Daphne Munro is ABC15's 'Smart Shopper,' with reports weekdays at 5 p.m., and Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 p.m. Find more 'Smart Shopper' at www.abc15.com/smartshopper

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012 9:11 am | Updated: 9:39 am, Sun Nov 25, 2012.

Black Friday often means incredible deals, right? It’s the truth we’ve all been led to believe, but it’s only the case in some of the circumstances.

Of course, the door buster deals offered by merchants are incredible prices, but often there are limited quantities of 10 per store even though 5,000 people want the price.

The key to scoring the best deals on Black Friday -- or any other day -- just comes down to two simple words, research and strategy.

There’s a new trend that started last year. A lot of retailers won’t be waiting until Friday morning to give out some deals. Many retailers are actually open on Thanksgiving.

Thus, your first step is to look at the Black Friday ads. You probably have already seen them since retailers released them to the public earlier in the week. Also, check out the websites that have leaked Black Friday deals. Technology gives us consumers a leg up on finding deals these days. Here are some of the best websites I’ve found:

Bfads.net

Blackfriday.com

Theblackfriday.com

Blackfriday.gottadeal.com

These sites contain information that the traditional ads may not contain, including those door buster deals on hot items like HDTVs, laptops and gaming systems. These sites often also have information about how many door busters each retail store will have in stock. Knowing that can help you decide whether or not it is worth your time.

Your second step is to narrow down what you really want and feel you may have a chance of buying at the Black Friday price. Once you nail down those items, make sure it is a good deal that no one else has on sale. Go online and check out price comparison sites like Pricegrabber.com, Pricewatch.com and if you have a smartphone, my favorite app is Google Shopper. With Google Shopper, you can price compare while you are out shopping. The app or comparison sites are a great tool because they give you knowledge of what is considered a good price.

You may even find out that door buster deals are not the best price. You may even find the items for a tad bit more – but with the guarantee that you can get them without the crowds.

You should also check out the websites of retailers from whom you are interested in buying. Often, those retailers offer the same deal online. You will be surprised how you can score that door buster without even leaving your home!

One other factor to consider is Cyber Monday. That’s the Monday after Black Friday and this year it falls on Nov. 26. Cyber Monday is the online retailer’s version of Black Friday.

Don’t forget coupon code sites too! Places like Retailmenot.com, Couponcabin.com, Fatwallet.com and Coupons.com can help you save even more money. Plus, if you don’t want to pay shipping costs, those coupon codes sites might have a free shipping code. You can also always check out Freeshipping.org. I am sure a lot of online retailers will be offering free shipping deals too. One of my favorite Cyber Monday websites is Cybermonday2012.com, which is powered by Bradsdeals.com. Trust me, Bradsdeals.com is a solid site for finding a lot of deals happening on the Internet, so this is a good site to bookmark all year-round.

One last thing to consider is that many retailers like Target have loosened their price matching policies to include online competitors like Amazon. That’s a huge plus for us consumers. You can check out current price matching policies courtesy of Consumerworld.org at Consumerworld.org/pages/pricematch2012prs.htm.

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