8 Black Friday Hacks to Maximize Your Savings

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ArtistGNDphotography/iStock via Getty Images Plus / ArtistGNDphotography/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Whether you’re shopping for loved ones or just want to buy something new for yourself, you’re not going to find many deals better than what’s available on Black Friday. Nearly every retailer imaginable will participate in these sales, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of discounts available. To help you get the most out of your Black Friday shopping, Mental Floss and Roborock have teamed up to bring you eight tips to keep in mind.

1. Start researching before Black Friday.

If you're reading this before Black Friday, there's still time to check out the sale information for your favorite stores and make a plan for how you want to approach the day. Can you get there right when they open? Are the sales only on Friday, or do they extend through the weekend? If one store doesn't have the 4K TV you want, do you have a backup nearby? Ironing out the details in advance can make all the difference between success and disappointment.

2. Consider sticking to online shopping.

Your next step is to figure out whether it’s worth it to go out to the mall on Black Friday morning or stick to online shopping. Some retailer deals are only available at brick-and-mortar locations, and if that includes something you have your eye on, you might have to venture out. But if you’re just interested in browsing or want something guaranteed to be available online, chances are you’ll have a better chance of finding it in stock on the web.

3. Sign up for a store’s newsletter and download their app.

Stores are more than happy to send you information about their Black Friday sales, so be sure to sign up for their email lists, download their apps, and follow their social media accounts to be the first to know about the deals they’re offering. Some outlets will even give you a discount code just for signing up for those services.

4. Take advantage of your credit card rewards.

Before you start shopping, do a little research on the types of rewards your credit card offers. You might get money off when shopping at certain retailers, or your card might offer more cash back on specific types of purchases like food, tech, or clothing. If you plan everything just right, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars in rewards once the Black Friday dust settles.

5. Shop local whenever possible.

Black Friday always conjures up thoughts of national brands, but the stores in your community would love to have your patronage, too. Be sure to go to the main streets in your town and browse what’s available—many of these stores will be offering discounts and specialty items that you won’t find at their big-box competition.

6. Double your savings with gift cards and browser plug-ins.

If you want to feel like a super-saver extraordinaire, buy your discounted Black Friday products with already-discounted gift cards. There are several websites that sell these cards, passing on savings to savvy customers. For example, you can buy a new pair of wireless headphones for 20 percent off with a gift card that was already 40 percent off. Using this option in tandem with a browser plug-in that finds additional discount codes can lead to even bigger savings.

7. Price match every time.

If the store you’re currently shopping doesn't have a good deal, don't worry—the one across town might, and the one you're at (especially if it's a big-name store) may match the price to earn your business. Before you head to the checkout with all your items, look up the products on the competitor's website to score big.

8. Check to see if the price drops after you buy anything.

Some major retailers actually refund money to shoppers who notice the price of their Black Friday purchase dropping through early December. Check to see if the stores you frequent are doing something similar, and you can rest easy knowing that you'll get the best deal possible, even if it comes after you've paid. It's like a time machine for your wallet.

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