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Tuesday November 22, 2011 3:36 pm

8 rules to get the best deals on Black Friday


Posted by Andru Edwards - Categories: Editorial, Features, Hot Deals


Black Friday Crowd

With the sheer number of sales and offers being flung around during Black Friday weekend, there's a chance that you may encounter an item you're interested in that doesn't appear in any ad. Although you can easily price compare offers from competing stores, how can you be certain that it's actually the best deal you can get? Below, we've detailed a few steps that you should take to ensure that your purchase is a wise one. And though you may feel pressure to move quickly on Black Friday — with extremely limited-time offers and deals selling out — a few moments spent researching will make you much less likely to regret your purchases later.

1. Know the Price History for the Item: Many people don't realize that there's an option on dealnews that allows you to view expired deals. This info is useful when assessing the dealworthiness of a current price for a specific item. If the model you're considering was offered for less a few weeks or months ago, it's probably a pretty weak Black Friday deal. We've noticed a few such offerings in the ads already, so be on the lookout.

2. Consider Other Colors: If you're not particular about the color of your item, it's worth doing a quick check to see if a less-mainstream colorway is seeing stronger discounts. For example, some of the deepest cuts on items like Vibram FiveFingers shoes tend to be brightly-colored styles. When searching for additional options, keep in mind that sometimes the model number integrates color information. (Cameras and camcorders frequently do this.) Simplify the model number to broaden your search, and you may find a blue camera for less than the standard black or silver model you were originally considering.


3. Compare to Prices on Similar Items: Let's say you've found the lowest price for a particular model of TV. No other store has that specific TV for less. But what if a comparable TV — same size, same specs — from an equivalent manufacturer (most are going to be low-end brands on Black Friday) exists for less? If you're not attached to that specific model, you may want to opt for the lower-priced option. Poke around dealnews to see what similar items are going for, and see if a comparable product (or perhaps a better one) will save you even more.

4. Consider Bundle Offers: You may know that an item is at a price low, but what do the other stores (with higher prices) have to offer? If a TV is only $50 more but comes with a Blu-ray disc player and a sizable gift card, it may be worth shelling out the extra dough.

5. Look for Coupons That Apply to Your Selection: It pains us to no end when a friend or family member makes a purchase that they think is a great deal, when we know for a fact that a coupon was floating around that could have made it even sweeter. While testing a promotion code can be tedious, it takes no time at all to find one if you're using a coupon database like this. You'll feel exceptionally clever if you find one that slices an additional percentage off your total.

6. Look for a Coupon for Competing Stores: Searching for coupons doesn't end with the store you're planning to buy from. If there's another merchant that offers a close price, you'd be wise to search for coupons for that store as well; there could be a discount available that will instead make that one cheaper overall. Along the same lines, it's good practice to add the item to cart anyway, to see if it happens to receive an in-cart promotion or discount.

7. Does Shipping Kill the Deal?: Occasionally we'll come across a fantastic deal that falls apart the second you take it through checkout. Excess shipping costs are a major buzz kill, especially if there's no pickup option. If your purchase carries a hefty delivery fee, don't hesitate to check back with other stores that offer a close price to see if they also offer any free or cheap shipping options.

8. Don't Forget Sales Tax: If the item you're considering is available online, you may be able to get a better deal at a different site that doesn't charge sales tax for the state where you reside. For more expensive items, this can be a pretty significant difference.

The easiest way to make sure you get a good deal on Black Friday, however, is to let a site like DealNews do the work for you; if you're away from your computer, be sure to download the dealnews app for iPhone or Android to get deals on the go (it's great for in-store comparison shopping too) or sign up for email alerts so you know immediately when we list a deal on the item of your choice.

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