If you plan to shop on Black Friday, do your research first. Deals are not always what they seem.
Jon Vincent, who considers himself an expert on the traditional shopping day after Thanksgiving, offers some tips.
· Double check the model number of the item you are purchasing on Black Friday to verify it is a real model and not a Black Friday special model for sale. The special Black Friday models are typically seen a lot with electronics and overall the parts and quality of them are less than what you would expect from the brand. A hint that it's a Black Friday special model is that it's brand new on the retailer’s website and has no reviews from other shoppers. Another way to determine if it's a Black Friday special model is to do a quick Google or Amazon search on the brand and model number to see what turns up. If you can't find the product on Amazon or even on the brand's own website, you know it's most likely a special Black Friday model that may be inferior to other models that the brand offers.
* If you see an item discounted for less than 30% off, it is better to skip that item on Black Friday. You will most likely be able to get a better deal by waiting until Cyber Monday or later in the holiday shopping season.
* Remember that Black Friday deals aren't only available on Black Friday. Some retailers, such as Kohl's and Amazon.com, will have their deals available starting on the Monday before Thanksgiving. For the retailers that put their deals on closer to Thanksgiving, if you're looking for the best time to snag a deal, stay up Wednesday night and shop then. Retailers typically "flip the switch" on their sale a few hours before Thanksgiving, so you can quickly get the deals while everyone else is sleeping.
* If you are looking to score one of the in-store Black Friday doorbuster deals, be prepared to line up early! We suggest shoppers get to Target, Best Buy, or Walmart at least 9 hours before doors open to be one of the first in line. For all other retailers, we suggest you line up three hours before doors open.
* While everyone else is scrambling for television and electronics deals, keep an eye out for other products. Other great deals usually include luggage and bed and bath products.