If you’re a Black Friday newbie, you might want to check out this shopping guide from Consumer Reports. It has links to the best Black Friday information sites, as well as tips for grabbing the best deals. [Consumer Reports]

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  1. YourTechSupport says:

    If you’re a Black Friday newbie, here are some tips.

    1. Mr. Extendable Baton is your friend.
    2. Most consumer electronics packaging is able to handle a few shocks. Don’t be afraid to use them as a melee weapon on your push towards the registers.
    3. Have a friend waiting in the car, so you can call them to pull car around swiftly and execute your escape in an orderly fashion.

    • chutch says:

      @YourTechSupport: I have tried #2 and #3 before.

      I’m having trouble finding the baton on eBay, but it sounds like a good tip. :)

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @YourTechSupport: Remember those, We’ve Substituted This Restaurant’s Regular Coffee With Folger’s Crystals ads?
      Try the same thing at the perfume counter, with Mace!
      …Step back a safe distance and watch the madcap shenanigans ensue!

  2. bohemian says:

    Check the black Friday ad price against the same item on the stores website right now (before the sales on Friday).

    JcPenney is running doorbuster sales Friday but right now I found a bunch of those doorbuster prices are the same as what the item is on sale for NOW.

    I scanned a few more black Friday flyers and found some similar less than stellar deals but JcPenney was full of non-deals.

    So far my favorite was the no-name “game console” being sold for about $50 at Menards. No clue what kind of games it plays or if it will start your house on fire upon being plugged in.

    • chutch says:

      @bohemian: I’ve seen these advertised in local Fred’s and Roses Black Friday ads. I’ve seen Wii and Playstation rip-offs.

      At least locally, Fred’s has the best deal on both junky looking systems. It is around $40 there. Roses lists only the Wii ripoff at $50.

      I’m not sure of the regional availability of either store though.

  3. ColoradoShark says:

    If you’re a newbie, here’s the abbreviated hint list:

    *Stay home and have some leftover turkey.

    • kbrook says:

      @ColoradoShark: Exactly. Black Friday is evil personified.

      • lincolnparadox says:

        @kbrook: And how! My buddy had never gone to a Black Friday before and he “wanted to see what it was like.” I had spent many a Black Friday morning, huddled in my car, still dozing from turkey-induced serotonin overdose. You never get anything special, unless you live in a very small town. We did not, but I humored him. We went to Best Buy. He bought a few things, DVDs mostly, but nothing he couldn’t have gotten later in the day.

        bohemian has the best advice: “Check the price online.” Then you can stay home, keep warm, sleep in, and enjoy turkey sandwiches for breakfast (and then sleep some more).

  4. chutch says:

    My personal advice is to scope out ads well in advance. If you see a MUST have item, be ready and willing to lose your life for it.

    Enter the store early as possible (this will only work if the store allows you in before the sell starts) and find someone who knows exactly where it will be found at.

    Separate to conquer. If you just must have more than one item in different parts of the store, bring a friend who is equally idiotic.

    Look for an escape route. Wal-Mart has built in escape routes during this time. The clothing section at our local store makes for a great escape spot for when you are tired of fighting/being rammed with carts.

    Finally, extra baggage must go. If it is a smaller ticket item, don’t get a cart. You are forcing yourself into a situation you cannot get out of quickly. This is not an area to have children with you in. Even if it is a bigger ticket item, find out if it will be there then, or if there is a loading area you will be expected to use. Even if it’s a 50″ TV, if you have to drive to a loading area to receive your plunder – it makes no sense to have a shopping cart with you. I’m not sure of every store, but out Wal-Mart has started putting ticket areas up during this hectic time that you simply have to get an item ticket guaranteeing your item will be waiting for you at the loading zone.

    Good luck, make sure you are up to date on your life insurance, and if all else fails – at least left over thanksgiving turkey was your last meal. :)

  5. Corporate-Shill says:

    December 23rd, about 1 hour before store closing, is the best time to do your Christmas shopping. Prices are being marked down in anticipation of the Dec 24th clearance sale and the crowds are thinner. Generally you can save a few bucks over Black Friday AND you get to keep the money in your interest bearing checking account for nearly an extra 30 days versus keeping the $ hidden in a packagae for the next month.

    • RagingBoehner says:

      @Corporate-Shill: Not arguing on the deal side — but even if you spend $1,000 on gifts with a 3% interest rate savings account you’re talking about $2.50 in extra interest. Which if you’re spending a grand on gifts probably isn’t enough incentive to wait until the last minute.

  6. quagmire0 says:

    Check out fatwallet.com and their Black Friday forum. They’ve got a spreadsheet that lists all the Black Friday deals and lets your sort by category. Nice and easy. ;)

  7. TVarmy says:

    I never took advantage, because I don’t have the patience to deal with the crowds. Can anyone honestly tell me if the deals are really that good, in terms of percent, over normal days or online deals?

  8. Anonymous says:

    This web site will help you make sure you get the best prices on all of your purchases:

    http://www.zingsale.com

    It’s a free service that tracks prices of products from online stores (like amazon) and sends you an email when the price drops. You can set a target price or be notified when it falls by a certain percentage. Might be a nice way to make sure you’re getting the best deals this holiday season.

  9. kbrook says:

    I am not a crowd person. The idea of having people all around me, cutting off my air… yech. Combine that with the fact that my migraine triggers are people shouting and screeching kids and you have a recipe for ‘stay the fuck home.’

    • stinerman says:

      @kbrook:

      Yeah, I went out once with my ex to do some shopping last year. God it was horrible.

      I’m going to resume what I do every other Black Friday — stay indoors and chill out.

  10. RagingBoehner says:

    The CR site suggests opening up a store charge card to take advantage of additional savings opportunities — I’m not sure that’s such good advice unless you’re buying a very large quantity of goods or you already have sterling credit.

    Opening a charge card can ding your credit score which can easily negate the 10% savings unless you’re dropping serious coin. Plus — as any good consumerista knows — store charge cards don’t have the myriad benefits of AmEx, Visa, MC, etc.

  11. uptown says:

    The all-time best Black Friday video:

    ://www.haha.com