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ShopGirl: Black Friday how-to

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WHAT TO BUY ON BLACK FRIDAY

The most random electronics get price-slashed on Black Friday. I glanced through the Target ad, and the best deals seemed to be on smaller items that would make great presents for the hard-to-buy-for on your list.

A Vivitar 5 megapixel camcorder will be $29.99, and it plugs into your USB port for easy download and no annoying cables. The Memorex iPod/iPhone speaker dock (usually $60) will be $30, and I’ve heard this portable speaker has good quality for its size. Of course, these items tend to move fast and are only available as supplies last.

Department stores like Dillards and Macy’s usually offer 15 percent or 20 percent off coupons to use on virtually anything in the store. This makes Black Friday a great time to buy that pricey pair of boots you want. They also run crazy deals on home appliances like coffee makers and toasters – like $9.99 crazy.

WHAT NOT  TO BUY

Don’t go shopping on Black Friday thinking you can wipe out your entire Christmas list in one fell swoop. People may do it, but you will not be saving any crazy money that you can’t save later in the season.

Black Friday is a great time to get a cheap television, but higher-end sets probably will go on their biggest discount closer to the holidays.

Christmas decorations are also something that will not see the biggest markdown the day after Thanks­giving. I know it’s finally a reasonable time to start buying Christmas decor, but don’t give in unless the deal is truly exceptional.

HOW TO DO IT

One of the benefits of living in Augusta is that we have major retailers, but we don’t have the manic shopper populations of larger cities like Atlanta or even Columbia.

Unless you have your heart set on buying the doorbuster technology attractions, you don’t have to be there at midnight. However, the earlier you get out there, the better.

Your best asset will be the Thanksgiving Day newspaper. Pick up a copy of The Augusta Chronicle and read through the ad inserts to be prepared before you go.

Bring a buddy. Make sure it’s a good shopping partner, not someone you need to catch up with. It’s a good idea to have someone to bounce off impulse buy ideas. A $9.99 panini maker is a great bargain, but a good shopping friend can remind you that you don’t like hot sandwiches.


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