ShopSmart’s 5 Tips to Bag the Best Black Friday Bargains
Get great deals before the holiday season
YONKERS, NY — Black Friday can mean major savings when it comes to holiday shopping, but there are deals to be had that don’t involve waking up in the wee hours the morning after Thanksgiving and battling the crowds. The November 2011 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, has a step-by-step guide to finding the best Black Friday sales without all the runaround.
“Multiplying deal deadlines can put a lot of pressure on shoppers leading up to Black Friday,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “With our five Black Friday shopping tips, people can avoid the pressure that would otherwise lead them to make irrational purchases and waste a lot of money.”
Thanks to “holiday creep” – the same phenomenon that puts Christmas decorations in stores before you’ve finished eating your Halloween candy – you can probably grab some Black Friday-style deals now. Last year, JCPenney, Sears, Staples, Target, Walmart, and others advertised big sales – some offering as much as 50 percent off – starting even before Halloween. So look online for info about preholiday sales.
Track the ads
Black Friday shopping sites make it easy. Check out BFads.net, BlackFriday.info, BlackFriday.net, and TheBlackFriday.com, as well as year-round sales aggregators such as FatWallet.com and GottaDeal.com. Also try mobile apps such as Black Friday.
Nab insider info
“Like” your favorite retailers on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for advance notice of special sales. You can also follow @DealCyberMonday on Twitter.
Shop Small Business Saturday
Many local merchants offer Black Friday specials as well as holiday deals on the following day. It’s dubbed Small Business Saturday and is sponsored by American Express as a reminder to shop at your friendly neighborhood retailers.
Get a jump on Cyber Monday
Amazon.com is starting its holiday shopping blitz on Monday, Nov. 21, a week ahead of the traditional busiest day of the year for online shopping. You can follow online specials at various Cyber Monday websites, including CyberMonday2011.com, Cyber.MondayDeals.net, and DealsCyberMonday.org. If you’re buying online, watch for free-shipping promos. FreeShipping.org is a good place to start.
About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.