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Learning how to get the best deal on Black Friday is not as tough as it sounds, as long as you’re willing to put yourself through a bit of an ordeal. In other words, you’re going to have to face long lines, pushy crowds and rude people, all while only getting a few hours of sleep, if that. If you really want to snag the best deal, this will all be worth it for you in the end. Otherwise, it’s best to leave Black Friday to the seriously committed shoppers.

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Pay attention to store hours. Black Friday store hours seem to be getting earlier and earlier. In fact, they often start at midnight on Thanksgiving night. If you show up to these stores at five in the morning, all those deals you were waiting for will be long gone. You need to keep track of which stores open at what times and which are most important for you to visit first. Most websites will have special hours posted on their home pages, but an extra phone call couldn’t hurt, either.

 

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Study sales beforehand. Before you wake up and drag yourself out to Black Friday sales, you need to know what items you want at which stores. Once you know what deals are being offered, you can start to prioritize. For example, if one store has a refrigerator you want at half off and another that opens at the same time has CDs on sale for a few bucks off, you’re probably going to want to hit up the store offering the refrigerator deal first. Like any important expedition, having all of your routes planned out ahead can save a lot of headaches.

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Stake out the stores you plan to shop at. Go to each store and find out which department will be offering the sale item you want. As stated above, map out the best possible route from the door to that department. Also, ask the salespeople if any items on your list will have their own special display on Black Friday. Shaving off a few crucial seconds could be the difference between getting the best deals on Black Friday and going home empty-handed.

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Get out there as early as humanly possible. If a store opens at midnight, for example, get there at 10 o’clock or even earlier. The closer you are to the front of the line, the better chance you will have of snagging the best Black Friday deals. Don’t mope about not getting enough sleep. You can sleep plenty once the shopping is done and Black Friday is over. These shoppers, especially, women, are ruthless, and you can bet that they will be lining up earlier and earlier. This is war, soldier, and sacrifices have to be made. Sleep will be the first casualty.

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Move swiftly and with purpose. It’s game time, and walking slowly or allowing others to pass are things you just can’t afford. Those who get the absolute best Black Friday deals head right for the items they want and snag them up as quickly as possible. This does not mean that you should be rude or shove people (although rude is as rude does!). Still treat other shoppers as you want them to treat you. After all, there are plenty of great Black Friday deals for everyone. Still, don’t dawdle, or you’ll be out of luck!