Black Friday Advice: Deals & Strategies

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Black Friday is nearly here -- are you ready?

If the shopping extravaganza leaves you feeling a little overwhelmed, Andrew Schrage, a deal pro from Money Crashers, has your fear-easing solutions, from cash vs. credit to Apple sales to deciding when to stand in late-night lines.

Q: What are the best ways to save on Black Friday?
A: You really want to go into the day with a solid game plan. Put together a comprehensive list of all your gift recipients and exactly what you want to get each of those recipients. From there most retailers have pre-released all of their Black Friday ads. Take some time. Dig into those ads. Figure out which gift you’re going to buy at which store. Finally, when the big day arrives, you want to have a rough schedule or itinerary to figure out what store you’re going to visit at what time. Obviously, you want to start at the stores with the biggest doorbusters, the highest competition and work your way down to the lower priority items.

Q: Should you pay cash or credit on Black Friday? Why?

A: If you’re someone who has a tendency to overspend, you’ll definitely want to go cash since it’ll keep you in check on Black Friday. But if you’re going to pay off your credit card in bill in full at the end of the month, definitely go credit. You’ll get 5% cash back on your purchases, frequent flier miles and a lot of these cards have built in extended warranties, which can save you hundreds of dollars especially on your more expensive electronic purchases since you won’t have to buy a store warranty.

Q: What about the big trend of layaway this year?

A:  If you’re willing to pay a little fee at the beginning, you can pay off your purchases in eight to 12 payments, and get that hot product you want for the Christmas season.

Q: Where is the best place to look for deals on kitchen appliances, like fridges, ovens and dishwashers? Do places offer any financing deals on top of the Black Friday deals?
A: Best Buy actually has some awesome deals on appliances. As for financing deals, layaway programs are a hot trend this year. You'll have to pay a small service fee, but you'll be able to pay off your purchases over the span of 8 or 12 weeks.

Q: Can we get the Black Friday Toys 'R Us deals online or just in stores?
A: It depends on the item. Some of the deals can be found both in-store and online, while others are either in-store or online exclusives.

Q:  Is anyone doing a Black Friday special on iPads?
A: There are a few different places available where you can get iPad deals. Apple has historically offered a percentage discount on Black Friday on most of their items (online as well, so you don't need to get up early), and other places like Best Buy and Amazon will sometimes offer discounted prices as well.

Q: Any idea who has the best deals on TVs? Any tips? Do I have to stand in a line for hours??
A: If you want the absolute cheapest prices out there, then standing in line is your best [bet.] But if you're just looking for an awesome deal without the hassle of standing in the cold, there will be plenty of great deals available on sites like Amazon and retail store websites. Also, take advantage of awesome coupons and savings from some of the best sites like

Q: Everyone will have a flat-screen LCD-TV on sale as some type of doorbuster. How do you know you're not just buying what you pay for and how can you compare pricing and quality with some of the not-so-famous name brands?
A: Do your homework and price compare in the days leading up to Black Friday. Look at the ads out there to figure out which stores are truly offering attractive prices this Black Friday. The best shortcut is to look at the doorbuster deals in retail store ads since those will be the best deals available both in store and online. Start with those and price compare from there! Don't forget you can get great deals by using coupons and exclusive offers from sites like

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