Black Friday deals: Tips and tricks from ABC15's Smart Shopper Daphne Munro

PHOENIX - Black Friday used to be the one day when you could find bargain-basement deals on computers, TVs, game consoles, home goods, clothes, toys and the list goes on.

You would celebrate Thanksgiving Day and then get up super early to try and battle with the crowds to get those door-buster deals. Clearly that "one day" no longer exists and instead Black Friday has become an entire season. That season starts after Veterans Day and ends after Cyber Monday.

If you need a new HDTV, you will likely score the best price on both Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday. Video games are likely to be discounted only on Thanksgiving. According to dealnews.com, 70 percent more games were on sale for Thanksgiving night over the last two years compared to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Let's also talk about strategies to get some of these great deals. Your first step is to look at the Black Friday ads. You probably have already seen them since retailers released them to the public earlier in the week. You can also check out the websites that have leaked Black Friday deals. Technology gives us consumers a leg up on finding deals. Here are some of the best websites I've found:

BFads.net

BlackFriday.com

TheBlackFriday.com

BlackFriday.GottaDeal.com

BlackFriday.Dealighted.com (this website is the best for finding out inside information so check the blog section)

These sites contain information that the traditional ads may not contain, including those door-buster deals on hot items like HDTVs, laptops and gaming systems. These sites often have information about how many door-busters each retail store will have in stock. Knowing that can help you decide whether or not it is worth your time.

If you don't plan on dealing with the shopping frenzy on Thanksgiving night or Black Friday, don't worry about it. There will be plenty of deals during the Black Friday shopping season. As a matter of a fact, you probably don't ever need to go shopping since you can probably find just as good of deals online. Check out websites like Amazon.comOverstock.com , BradsDeals.com and DealNews.com for ongoing bargain deals.

Now that you have done some research, your second step is to narrow down what you really want and feel you may have a chance of buying at a Black Friday price. Once you nail down those items, make sure it is a good deal that no one else has on sale. Go online and check out price comparison sites like PriceGrabber.com . If you have a smartphone, my favorite app for this is Amazon Price Check. With this app, you can price compare while you are out shopping.

You might even find out that doorbuster deals are not the best price. You may find the items for a tad bit more but with the guarantee that you can get them without the crowds.

You should also check out the websites of retailers from whom you are interested in buying. Often those retailers offer the same deal online. You will be surprised how you can score that door-buster without even leaving your home!

One other factor to consider is Cyber Monday. That's the Monday after Black Friday and this year it falls on December 2. Cyber Monday is the online retailer's version of Black Friday.

Don't forget coupon code sites, too! Places like RetailMeNot.com , CouponCabin.com , FatWallet.com   and Coupons.com can help you save even more money. Plus, if you don't want to pay shipping costs, those coupon code sites might have a free shipping code. You can also always check out FreeShipping.org .

One of my favorite Cyber Monday websites is CyberMonday2013.com , which is powered by BradsDeals.com. Trust me, BradsDeals.com is a solid site for finding a lot of deals happening on the internet, and DealNews.com is another great one. Both websites are good to bookmark all-year-round to help you save on things you need.

One last thing to consider is that many retailers like Target, Staples and Best Buy have loosened their price matching policies to include online competitors like Amazon. That's a huge plus for us consumers, which can also mean a huge time saver too. I would make sure to thoroughly read the retailers price matching policy online plus print it out and bring it with you to the store. Often, there seems to be a lot of confusion on price matching when you actually get to the store. So having a printout of the policy will help you get the price matched.

If you take my advice, I think you will get some great savings for the holiday season. 

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