There is no ONE great deal out there this year. Not a must-have or that one single item where people are standing in lines for hours just to get their hands on it. That's good news and bad news. When there's one item (i.e. Cabbage Patch Kids, Zhu Zhu Pets, Xbox Kinect) that everyone is looking for, it's great because it leaves a whole store open for you to explore. NEVER try to purchase the must-have item. You won't get a deal and you'll waste your whole day searching for the holy grail. The bad news about there not being the must-have item is that everyone is out there competing for everything and lines will be everywhere
With that said, there is something you can do to prepare yourself to find the best deal. Research, research, research. You may say you don't have time to compare prices everywhere, and you don't. At least not if you drive. But with a computer, it's easy to compare sale prices.
You can actually look at most of the Black Friday deals right now and see where you should get the best bargain. BFAds.net is one of the most popular sites out there that shows many of the ad scans for Black Friday. Simply click on the store's logo and the Black Friday flyer will let you see what's on sale before you pick up the paper Thanksgiving morning.
My favorite site that shows you not only brick and mortar flyers, but also online store deals is theblackfriday.com. Many of these stores have the same items on sale, so it's easy to compare. For example, my daughter is hoping for the Hedbandz game. I looked at all the usual suspect flyers and found a huge range of sale prices. The highest price was $29.99 from Fingerhut, all the way down to Target for $10 (regular price is $19.89.) I just saved $20 and never had to lift my butt off the couch.
It might be easier to wait until you get all the flyers and lay them out when comparing, but you also may be missing a deal right now. I was looking at a particular neckless at Macy's, and noticed it was actually cheaper right now than on their Friday flyer.
Compare apples to apples. Certain stores are better for certain products, but it's not always consistent. However, I have found Walmart the most consistent as far as prices and almost always offer the lowest. Unfortunately they have the longest lines and you can't really get all your shopping done there, so if it's going to be one of your stops on Friday, make it first!
- Part 1: Black Friday: The Survival Series
- Part 2: Surviving and Enjoying the Madness
- Part 3: 5 Things Not to buy
- Part 4: The Best Deals 2012
- Part 5: Cyber Monday (Wednesday)