BOSTON (CBS) – -Thousands of people will be lining up at stores’ doors next week for Black Friday sales. But according to Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org, “many of the so-called ‘doorbusters’ are not worth getting up for at 3am.”
Dworsky says sometimes better deals can be found on stores’ websites, and shoppers should consider pre-Black Friday sales, as well.
Dworsky says overall: “The real deal still is Black Friday. It still is the single best shopping day of the year.”
He has 10 tips on how to get the best bargains this holiday season.
1. Read the Ads. Dworsky says make sure to look at all of the circulars on Thanksgiving Day and the day after, but also get on retailers’ email lists and check their Facebook pages. You can preview Black Friday sale circulars now at bfads.net, and get a list of sale items at all stores combined by category, like all GPSs, at blackfriday.gottadeal.com.
3. Research the Right Product. Check product reviews both by professional publications and consumers. Dworsky says don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. “Finding a low price on a lousy product is no bargain. Find out which are the better GPSs, which are the better digital cameras, then look for those being on sale.”
4. Save with “Triple Plays.” Buy items at a good sale price, use coupons and look for items that have cash back rebates.
5. Be an Early Bird. Check out when stores are opening, when the deals are available, and plot your route from store to store. Plan on arriving before the doors open. Send family members to different stores if opening times conflict.
6. Beat the Early Birds. Check out sales that are being offered before Black Friday. Scope out stores on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to know the stores’ floor plans. Order online some Black Friday deals that may be available on Thanksgiving Day or the first few hours of Friday.
7. Check the Return Policy. Return policies vary by store, make sure you know what they are.
8. Get a Gift Receipt. Without a receipt a refund may be denied outright or limited to equal exchanges.
9. Use the Right Credit Card. Certain credit cards offer free benefits including extra warranty coverage. Some cards also offer a return protection guarantee or sales price guarantee.
10. Save More with Price Guarantees. After buying, keep checking the items’ prices because some stores offer a price protection guarantee. If the price drops, or a competitor offers a lower price before Christmas, you may be entitled to some money back.
Dworsky has a list of what he considers some of the “best doorbusters” of the year. Here’s his list:
a Kenmore front loading washer and dryer pair for $599.98 (Sears)
a Samsung 40” 1080p HDTV for $497 (Sears, WalMart)
$10 off $25 coupon (Macy’s)
Seagate 1TB ext. hard drive $49.99, Garmin 265WT GPS $99.99 a/r, Norton Anti Virus free a/r, (Staples)
150 toys 50% off (Toys-R-Us )
Logitech wireless mouse $4.99 a/r, 8-gig SD memory cards $12.99 (Office Depot)
Garmin 265WT GPS Saturday only $99.99 (Kmart)