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Black Friday tips: Things you should NOT do when shopping

The biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, when consumers have the chance to take advantage of super savings, at least that is what they are told.

The biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, when consumers have the chance to take advantage of super savings, at least that is what they are told.

The annual shopping frenzy is upon us with Black Friday sales already kicking off at some stores. The official start date though is the day after Thanksgiving, and the day that sees the highest volume of foot traffic stampeding, sometimes literally, through stores.

The shopping extravaganza will continue through the holiday weekend with Small Business Saturday and culminate with Cyber Monday. However, the hype around the “mega” sales event perhaps isn’t all it is cut out to be.

As retailers try to capture as many of the expected $967 billion that will be spend this year during the holiday season according to the National Retail Federation, sales are starting sooner and going longer. Also, only certain products are more apt to be on sale, while others may be found much cheaper at other times of the year.

Is Black Friday really all that?

“I don’t know that Black Friday has the same level of value that it did years ago,” Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at DealNews.com told CNBC. The deals being offered on Black Friday are often misleading, with stores attempting to lure you in with discounts but the same items on sale can be found at other times of the year for the same price or even lower.

The important thing is to shop for items that tend to truly be discounted at this particular shopping event. Fall clothing apparel for example, or big screen TVs. Ramhold found that there were actually quite good deals on smartphones this year.

However, unless it is the hottest toy of the year, you can usually wait until later in the holiday season to find even lower prices as retailers scramble to avoid being left with stock on hand. Likewise, if you are looking to buy bedding, cosmetics, exercise equipment or jewelry, wait until January when it is usually marked down more than in the run-up to Christmas.

Furniture and mattress vendors normally prefer to catch your business during other holidays throughout the year, think Labor Day, Memorial Day and President’s Day sales.

How you can get the best deals

Checking multiple websites is the easiest way of making sure you are actually gettting a deal. Multiple shops may be selling an item while not all may be calling items a special offer. Maybe you aren’t getting as good a deal as you may have thought prior.

Another way of checking deals is using apps or websites which track prices of products. Sites like Pricerunner and PriceSpy can be used to see if the product you are looking at is actually on sale or not. Also tap into you web browser, Google Chrome can track prices and notify you and Microsoft Edge will show you if you are looking at the best price.