Some of us wait all year for the Black Friday shopping season, our heads filled with the promise of scoring the best price of the year on a new TV, tablet, printer, or high-tech gadget. No worries—Consumer Reports has been tracking Black Friday deals for years, and we know all the tricks. Our top 10 Black Friday shopping tips will help you to get the best deal on the items you want and keep frustration—and overspending—to a minimum.
The final three tips apply specifically to TVs, which offer some of the best deals at this time of year.
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Start early. Gone are the days when Black Friday simply meant checking a few Sunday circulars to see which local retailers had the best deals. Black Friday has morphed into a whole month of deals and savings, and online retailers also update prices throughout the event.
The same goes for Cyber Monday, which now stretches into a week of online specials. Do your homework. Only rookies head out on Black Friday unprepared. Getting ready means studying the ads—in print and online—the weekend before Thanksgiving. Sign up and these sites will send you deal alerts, which you can typically filter by product category.
Use website and apps.
Top 10 Black Friday Shopping Tips for - Consumer Reports
The Consumer Reports website lists current prices from multiple retailers for products in our ratings. Many Black Friday sites, such as the ones listed above, have their own shopping apps. Done shopping? But direct comparison shopping can be really tough in the run-up to Black Friday and the holidays. That can make comparison shopping hard, if not impossible.
This is particularly true of TVs. Use loyalty programs. Stores often have loyalty programs that offer sales and promotions to their members first, then let them earn rewards on what they buy.
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Signing up for Black Friday shopping alerts will get you the early word on promotions, coupons, and discounts. In some cases, you can even find out whether the products you want are in stock or eligible to buy online and pick up at a store, which can save you money on shipping. Get social.
Best Buy sale guarantees Black Friday prices today on high-end TVs -- but read this before you buy
The Facebook pages, Instagram posts, and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers are a great way to find out about exclusive deals and promotions. Retailers will often reward customers who like or follow them with special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives. And of course texts, tweets, and social media posts are an easy way to share Black Friday shopping intel with your friends.
Create a budget—and stick to it.
Yes, this sounds simple. Check all store policies in advance. We expect more retailers to price-match specific online and in-store deals this year. But some stores might suspend their price-match guarantees during the Black Friday weekend on certain items, so read the fine print.
A Look Back: Amazon Black Friday 2018
Televisions deserve some special attention because so many people shop for them at this time of year. The TV aisle may have some of the best deals in the entire store—along with a few of the most confusing ones. Starting in October, you may see low-priced TVs made specifically for Black Friday, and some are available only through a single retailer. For example, they may have fewer HDMI inputs or come with a simpler remote control.
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Often, sets with similar model names perform equally well, and can be a good deal. Consumer Reports will report on heavily promoted sets as they come on the market, and help you pick out the better deals. Like most retailers, Amazon champions the most exciting products with the biggest discounts, including TVs, tech, mobile phones, appliances, laptops, tablets, consoles, smart devices and more.
For example, the best phone deals tend to be found directly through mobile network operators ee, Three, Vodafone, etc while the best travel deals are normally found through airlines directly Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, etc. It is always worth keeping an eye out on deals from smaller and category-specific retailers in the lead up to Black Friday, as well. Nonetheless, the demand for iPhones and AirPods reigns supreme, so there will definitely be deals kicking around.
I f you come across a Black Friday deal on an Apple product, it is likely a loss-leader for a retailer who has sacrificed its margin to get customers through the door. If your mobile phone contract is up anytime soon, it may be worth waiting until Black Friday week to renew. Less bothered about the latest tech but still want to upgrade on Black Friday?
The last-gen models from most major manufacturers are sure to be seen at their lowest-ever prices. G ames and their associated consoles are often packaged together for Black Friday. R etailers know customers have high expectations from their TVs, so they make a habit of highlighting their high-tech models over everything else during Black Friday. We expect a similar tech combo this year at an even lower price point.
Generally, smaller tech items are a dime a dozen; smart watches, FitBits, headphones and beyond. Home tech and appliances are also bound to offer some of the best Black Friday deals, as they have in years past. Perhaps even a robot vacuum or two to hit their lowest-ever price; the iRobot Roomba is already discounted more than half price.
So sit back and relax as we do the hard work for you.
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