How to Get the Best Deals on Black Friday

Black Friday – it's a day for nabbing bargains, but only if you know how to shop. Here are several shopping tips to help you navigate the day.

Plan Early

Black Friday App
Black Friday App. Screenshot from

Black Friday ads usually come out Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn't mean you have to wait until then to start planning. Head online to sites like and for a sneak peek at this year's ads, or just download's mobile app to stay on top of the latest info. It makes it easy to check ads on the go, and allows you to build a wishlist.

Note: The ads that you view on Black Friday sites may not be accurate. Be sure to compare your list to the Thanksgiving Day sales circulars before you head out.

Check Out the Merchandise

Women Window Shopping
Women Window Shopping. Philip Waterman/Cultura/Getty Images

Once you have your shopping list, it's time to start planning your attack. Head out to the stores to peek at the products you're interested in buying. Check their quality; look at their product features; and compare each item to similar models, to be sure you'll really be getting a bargain, if you decide to buy.

Then, make a note of where each item is located in the store, and how many they currently have available. This information will help you determine where you need to head first on Black Friday.

Compare Prices

Compare Prices with PriceGrabber
Compare Prices with PriceGrabber. Screenshot of PriceGrabber

Just because it's on sale doesn't mean it's a great deal. Use a price comparison website like to compare prices at competing retailers before you buy.

Investigate Price Matching and Return/Rebuy Policies

Return Receipt
Return Receipt. © Erin Huffstetler

Some store will match a competitor's price on an identical item. Others will allow you to buy merchandise in advance of the sale, and to then return and rebuy the items on Black Friday. Check with stores ahead of time to familiarize yourself with their policies. Then, plan your shopping strategy accordingly.

Only Shop the Deals

Happy Black Friday Shoppers
Happy Black Friday Shoppers. Andrew Burton/Getty Images News

Focus your energy on shopping for the bargains, and leave the rest of your Christmas shopping for another day.

Planning to hit Cyber Monday, too? Here's what you need to know to 

Check Online for Coupons

Michael's Online Coupon
Michael's Online Coupon. © Erin Huffstetler

Before you head to the stores, be sure to check online for printable coupons that can be used in store. Some retailers add coupons to their website as late as Thanksgiving Day, so it's worth a last-minute check before you head out the door.

Another great strategy: Sign up to receive e-mail newsletters from all of the stores that you plan to shop at. Newsletter subscribers frequently receive extra savings. Often times it's immediately upon sign up.

Shop Online

Do Your Black Friday Shopping Online
Do Your Black Friday Shopping Online. Ariel Skelley/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Want to avoid the crowds? Then, shop online. Many stores offer the same Black Friday specials on their website, and even throw in free shipping – a real bonus. And if that doesn't already sound like a sweet deal, consider this: Black Friday sales frequently kick off online at midnight on Thanksgiving, while most in-store sales start at 5 a.m. the next day.

Re-Evaluate Your Purchases

Woman Carrying Shopping Bags
Woman Carrying Shopping Bags. Dan Dalton/Caiaimage/Getty Images

Getting swept up in the excitement of Black Friday can often lead to impulse buys and overspending. Let that bargain shoppping buzz wear off; then, return any items that you don't feel great about. 

Planning to hit Cyber Monday, too? Then, be sure to check out these Cyber Monday shopping tips.