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Finding Black Friday Deals

It is a whole new game this year when it comes to Black Friday shopping. Many retailers nationwide are actually opening up on Thanksgiving and ads that were once only found in the newspapers the night before have been leaked online for weeks.There are a lot of deals to be had, but ABC 17’s Kristie Reeter set out to find if they are really worth it.One consumer groups says that about 30 percent of those so-called doorbuster deals are actually not deals at all. In fact, in some cases, the advertised Black Friday price is actually higher than it has been in the past.This year, many major retailers are touting good prices on televisions. Walmart, which is starting sales on Thanksgiving night, will offer a 32″ Emerson TV for $148, but only between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Thursday. If you’re in line for it in that time frame, the store will even guarantee the product.”We have a process in place by which you will be able to get that item through, it will be shipped to our store guaranteed by Christmas,” said Walmart manager Tim Spinks.Best Buy will also offer a 40″ Toshiba TV for $179. The store will open at midnight Thursday and will hand out tickets for products up to two hours before opening.Experts with the consumer group say they have found traditionally the best deals on top TVs are not available on Black Friday. The group helps shoppers by using data to find the highest-rated products and then predicts the best time to buy.”What you’ll find often, some of the second tiered brands or maybe older models might be discounted as doorbusters,” said CEO Mike Fridgen.Fridgen says the popular brand TVs are usually at a better price even before Thanksgiving.Laptops are another popular Black Friday sale. Staples plans to offer the Lenovo Twist for $699, saving consumers about $200. When Staples starts its sale at 5 a.m. Friday, they will have other laptops starting at $299. Walmart will come under that price by about $20 on a Hewlett-Packard is advising shoppers to wait until mid-December to get the best buy on a popular laptop. If consumers can wait, they could save up to 20 percent.So what is good to buy on Black Friday? Fridgen says video games and consoles are the way to go.Beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday, Walmart will offer an Xbox 360 Skylands bundle for $149. Overall, video games at Walmart will range in price from $10 to $25.Target, which opens at 9 p.m. Thursday, will also have video games in the $10 to $35 range. The store will bundle a PlayStation 3, including the console, controller and two games, for $199.99.When it comes to toys, consumer experts say you will have to buy as early as possible because stores can run out of stock. Toys”R”Us will be opening at 8 p.m. Thursday. This year’s hot item, the Furby, has been priced around $54, but at Walmart, it will be down to $45.When analyzing data for hundreds of items this holiday, found nine of the 11 major product categories averaged a lower price either before Black Friday, after Black Friday, or the week before Christmas.”So our advice to consumers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday is to sleep in,” said Fridgen.”Black Friday you see a lot of extreme deals, but really week-to-week we have a lot of very similar offerings, just not as many of them all at once,” Staples manager Chris Jansen added.Being prepared for the deals is not the only thing shoppers need to know. It’s also about planning a strategy once inside. For example, Walmart will offer a map of the store for shoppers and balloons in the air to signal the big ticket items.Shoppers can also use a smartphone. There are several apps available that will let consumers scan the item in the store to see if any other retailers offer it for cheaper. Many stores will also be price matching on some items, meaning the download could save you money.

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