Holidays are just around the corner, so shopping for those steals and deals are on most minds of shoppers, but now’s the time to set your budget and know the difference between which deals are the best. First off, Black Friday sales are no longer just on Friday after Thanksgiving, these crazy sales have already begun in several stores; but for those of you gearing up for that largest shopping day of all, beware of the ones that claim it’s there biggest sale event of the year. In most cases, stores will have plenty of sales, right up to Christmas Day.

Many retailers will open on Thanksgiving, but the majority will hit their beds early, in preparation of Friday’s sales. It’s all about the Door Busters. These discounted items are usually limited in quantity and can be purchased ‘only’ during specific hours. Some die hard shoppers will probably camp out in certain locations, ensuring they will get what they came for; especially if it’s electronics they’re seeking. However, beware about some of these products, as companies produce bulk products, which are intended to be sold only on Black Friday, and aren’t always of the same quality (even if it is a brand name). Always read the fine print in the ad! It’s amazing at how they have such big pictures, but often times this tiny print will read ‘only 5 available’ at this store; another reason customers camp outside their doors. Beware of inflated prices. They do this in order to tantalize their customers, making it appear to be the deepest discount around; when in reality the original price was so ridiculously inflated; of course it looks like 60% off or more.

If you’re a savvy shopper and like to price match products, beware of some retailers who won’t do that, such as Wal-Mart. Beginning with Thanksgiving Day and extending sales to Cyber Monday, Wal-Mart excludes themselves from any price matching what-so-ever. In a similar exclusion, Target won’t price-match during the entire week of those special holiday sales. So do your homework and compare prices prior to going out to grab some deals; this means comparing to online retailers like Amazon. Cornering the online market, Amazon offers some of the best deals around, using retailers from all over the world. They definitely benefit during this time… due to the shrinking supply at other big box retailers, like K-mart. Amazon will release new deals every hour for the entire week of Black Friday. You can find its Top 100 Toy List, as well as their Electronics Gift Guide for 2017 and is live. Any other information regarding Amazons Black Friday Event, I believe I read that it will post on November 17th.

A few last words of wisdom for Black Friday shoppers; Lines will be long, so take snacks and plenty of water. Call your credit card company days prior, making sure you have enough credit for your purchases. Make sure you have a full tank of gas in your car, as you could be at a stand-still… idling in very heavy traffic. Make sure your cell phone has a full charge before going out the door. Keep all your purchases in your trunk, or covered with a blanket (you could invite Thieves otherwise). You should also plan your strategy for the day, as to a starting and ending point. And last but not least…PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS! We live in a crazy world today, and my biggest fears are the unbalanced people or TERRORISTS preying on CROWDS during these times; HAVE A PLAN and BE SAFE… God Bless and happy shopping.

Make your week count.