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Retailers have a good deal of freebies in store for you this Black Friday.
Leisure time shoppers aim to spend an average of $420 between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday - with about nine in 10 shoppers saying they expect to spend at least as much, if not more, than they did earlier this year, according to data released this week by Deloitte.
The enough of that shopping will be done in stores, as 70 percent of consumers say they plan to shop in-store on Black Friday, and about one in four on Thanksgiving Day.
But before you set up for that midnight door-crasher or log on to your computer, bleary-eyed, in the wee period of time of Friday morning, you may want to take the following steps to help guarantee that you are acquiring genuinely great deals this weekend, instead merely getting swept up in the holiday shopping promotion.
Research and Prepare
This might seem evident, but take some time before the holiday weekend to check up on the regular prices of items in stores and online. That high-definition television you have got your eye on might not, in reality, be on sale over the holiday weekend. It helps to put down all the items you want to buy and the budget you have to spend.
Do some beforehand exploratory survey and find out where the items on your wish list can be found and then compare prices. If you know how much a particular item usually sells for, then you can tell whether it has really been discounted on Black Friday.
There are a number of free apps that give information on where you can find rightful Black Friday deals in your region.
Free Shipping and no Sales Tax
Sale price is not the lone thing you should look for when searching for deals on Black Friday. Many retailers dulcify the pot by providing free shipping on items sold throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.
While many retailers offer free shipping throughout the year on orders above a certain dollar amount, they oftentimes remove those necessitates on Black Friday.
Return policies and warranties
More than a few consumers have ended up with buyer's remorse after Black Friday, bit by bit realizing that they overpaid for a product or that it does not work as intended.
That's why it is all-important to check whether an item comes with a return policy and/or warranty before you buy it, particularly if it is an expensive purchase. Many profoundly discounted items or previous-year models are marked "final sale," meaning they can't be returned. Many more items come with no guarantee.
On the flip side, some retailers may throw in prolonged warranties of five years or longer, free of charge, on products they are trying to clear from their inventory.
Anyhow, the point is to check and confirm the return policies and warranties before you pull out your credit card.
While Black Friday through Cyber Monday may be the sizable and most hyped sales weekend of the year, it is not the only one.
Keep in mind that sales go on through the New Year, and there will be discounts accessible on products ranging from runners to clothing to laptops in the week straightaway after Christmas.
Of course, you want to act rapidly on Black Friday to ensure you get the best deals available. But it also pays to be selective and hold some perspective. There will be other sales and more opportunities to shop. Ultimately, retailers will consistently want your business.