The items are stocked. The deals are set. As the kickoff to the 2015 holiday shopping season nears, having a Black Friday plan is a must.
Luckily, with the help of Consumer Reports , we've got you covered.
The magazine, which has reviewed everything from washer and dryers to the family sedan, has a number of tips to ensure a successful and efficient Black Friday.
- Be prepared. There are deals happening right now. According to the magazine, following the print ads, online banners and checking websites like DealNews.com and theblackfriday.com can pay major dividends.
- Don't focus on Friday alone. Black Friday is just the name nowadays. Deals are available now and, in some cases, will be available for several weeks. The same holds true for Cyber Monday, which, according to the magazine, now stretches over the course of a week for some retailers.
- Compare prices. This is down on the list, but probably among the most important tips to know. There are several websites out there to help you find the best deal, including PriceGrabber.com and PriceWatch.com .
- Be loyal. According to Consumer Reports, some of the best deals are offered through loyalty programs. Before heading to the stores, look out for emails from loyalty clubs that may contain promotions, coupons and discounts.
- Be social media savvy. Social networking is an easy way to share information on a product or a deal and retailers know it. They're on Facebook and Twitter; you should be too. Scout your news feeds for deals and promotions, according to the magazine. Then share those deals with your friends.
- Be aware that the lowest-priced deals are not always the best. There are some deals that are designed to get you in the door. Often, they're offered on big-ticket products produced specifically for Black Friday. But according to the magazine, there are products out there that may cost just a bit more, but may offer a far better value. Again, this all comes down to the first tip: Be prepared.
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