Find the Best Black Friday Deals

Black Friday is known for it's bargains, but how can you ensure that you get your share?

Start planning early. Black Friday sales ads are an essential planning tool for deal-seeking shoppers, but they just don't arrive at your door early enough to plan.

If you're looking for a way to expand your planning time, there's a simple solution-online ads. You can find Black Friday ads online as early as October, so take advantage of this head start and get your shopping list and budget finalized before most people have even seen the deals.

Since sales sometimes change at the last minute, it's a good idea to compare your list of offers to the offers in the print ads before venturing out.

Map out the store. The sale may not start until the day after Thanksgiving, but you can be sure that the stocking of shelves begins way before then. Head to all of the stores on your list a day or two before Black Friday to locate the merchandise on your list. This will save you precious time on the day of the sale, and also give you an idea of the quantities that the stores will have in stock.

Talk up the employees. One of the biggest challenges of Black Friday is deciding how early you need to arrive at the store. Save yourself the guesswork and talk to store employees to find out what time things begin to heat up. This insider information could mean the difference between a spot at the beginning of the line and a spot two counties away.

Shop online. More and more stores are allowing customers to pick up Black Friday deals online. If you cringe at the thought of heading out into the crowded stores, this is a great way to go. Look for many stores to sweeten the deal with offers of free shipping.

Focus your efforts. Black Friday is known as the start of the holiday shopping season, but that doesn't mean you have to do all of your shopping on that day. Focus on snatching up the bargain-priced merchandise and leave the rest until later. After all, you don't want to miss out on a great deal because you were busy looking at non-sale merchandise.

Shop early. Several stores have begun to experiment with special Thanksgiving Day sales. If you don't mind shopping on a holiday, this could be a great way to get the deals without having to deal with the crowds.

Take advantage of 24-hour stores. Big chain stores are often open 24 hours, which can be a great thing for Black Friday shoppers, assuming you don't mind missing a little sleep. Arrive at the store Thanksgiving night and load up your cart with bargains. Then just wait to check out until the start of the new business day.

Some stores may have rules against this or close early Thanksgiving night to prevent shoppers from doing this.

Black Friday is a great day for bargain shopping. Spend a little time planning your attack, and you're sure to come home with loads of bargains.

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A great sale can happen anywhere or anytime, and you don't want to miss it. Looking for seasonal clearances, joining notification lists or just being a regular customer can keep you informed about the best sales.

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