Black Friday 2017 deals are already getting started! If you’re planning to hit the stores Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday or over the weekend, consider Clark.com your personal shopping assistant.
Are you ready to save more, spend less and avoid ripoffs? This is Team Clark’s Black Friday survival guide…
RELATED: The best Black Friday deals so far!
Team Clark’s Black Friday 2017 survival guide
1. Set a holiday budget
The biggest problem for your wallet during the holiday shopping season is that you spend a lot more time in stores and shopping online than you normally would.
To limit the temptation to spend more, Clark Howard doesn’t get a shopping cart and buys only what he can carry.
To avoid a January budget hangover, ask yourself: “How much money can I afford to spend through the Christmas shopping season for myself and on others?”
Come up with that number and track your spending using a budgeting app or a pen and paper.
2. Review the Black Friday ad scans
Most of the major retailers released their Black Friday ad scans early this year, so we already know some of the best deals, including a 50”³ 4K Roku TV for $179.99 at Best Buy! See the best deals at ClarkDeals.com.
Follow these links to the ad scans:
- Academy Sports + Outdoors
- Ace Hardware
- At Home
- Amazon (See what to buy and what to skip)
- Barnes & Noble
- Bass Pro Shops
- Best Buy (See the best deals!)
- Big Lots (See the best deals!)
- BJ’s Wholesale Club (See the best deals!)
- Costco (See the best deals!)
- Cost Plus World Market
- Dollar General
- Fry’s Electronics
- Harbor Freight
- The Home Depot
- J.C. Penney (See the best deals!)
- Kohl’s (See the best deals!)
- Lowe’s Home Improvement (See Black Friday deals starting now!)
- Office Depot/Office Max
- Ollie’s Bargain Outlet
- Rite Aid
- Roses Discount Store
- Sam’s Club (See the best deals!)
- Sears (See pre-Black Friday deals now)
- Stein Mart
- Target (See the best deals!)
- Toys R Us/Babies R Us
- True Value (See local ads)
- Ulta Beauty
- Walgreens (See Black Friday coupons)
- Walmart (See the best deals!)
3. Know exactly when to shop
If you’ve identified a great doorbuster deal, you’ll need to be there right when the store opens because there are generally very limited quantities of those items.
Clark says the best bargains will be on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and to a lesser extent Saturday and Sunday.
Stores open/closed on Thanksgiving Day:
- Early Black Friday 2017: Stores open on Thanksgiving
- These retailers will be closed on Thanksgiving this year
4. Avoid common retail traps
Savvy shoppers know that you shouldn’t trust a retailer when they tell you something is a great price. Always comparison shop to find the best deal.
Here are Clark’s top five Black Friday warnings:
- Don’t be fooled by misleading sales: Some retailers will increase their prices before the holiday to make the Black Friday discounts appear more significant. Price check at Google.com/Shopping.
- Always get a receipt and check the return policy: Read the fine print! Be mindful of how long you have to return an item and keep the receipt.
- Beware of fake retail websites: Red flags include suspicious URLs, spelling or grammatical mistakes and deals that seem too good to be true.
- Do NOT give gift cards: Retailers are closing stores at an alarming rate! Give cash instead.
- Store credit cards are also a bad idea: Decline offers at the register for one-store-only cards. They have interest rates as high as 30%.
If you’re not interested in shopping over Black Friday weekend, Clark says there will still be a lot of deals until about December 10 — so try to wrap up your shopping by then.