8 expert Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping tips

If you plan on stealing some holiday savings this November by jumping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, listen up: You may think you know all the tricks of the sales trade, but we put our holiday shopping researchers to work to find you 8 ways to get even more out of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping.

1. Follow Your Favorites

In the weeks leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, make sure you follow some of your favorite brands and retailers on their social media pages. According to RealSimple.com, 17% of consumers scan the Facebook pages of brands and those brands are starting to take notice, so head to Twitter and FB and keep an eye out for coupons, ads, and deals.

2. Know What You Want For The Best Discounts of the Day

While both Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring savings to almost every department at your favorite big box store, each saving day has special deals that the other might not. According to BestProducts.com, the Top 5 retail categories for savings (by percentage off) on Black Friday are:

  • Travel: 60% off
  • Office Supplies: 50% off
  • Computers/Electronics: 47% off
  • Clothing: 32% off
  • Gifts: 31%

Meanwhile, the Top 5 retail categories for savings (by percentage off) on Cyber Monday are:

  • Computer/Electronics: 48% off
  • Designer Clothing: 43% off
  • Teen Clothing: 39%
  • Books and News: 33% off
  • Home and Garden: 31% off
  • Bonus Tip: If you're looking for tech and gaming items, expect a large range of them to be discounted on Amazon.com.

While you're bound to find discounts in these categories on either day, knowing which days are best for what you want to save on can help you get the most optimal percentages off your holiday purchases.

3. Deceiving Delivery

Speaking of Cyber Monday, make sure that when you find the perfect online deal, you still check for hidden costs. Sure, you might find the perfect price on a new Razor Scooter for the kids, but extra costs like expedited delivery can turn that low-priced gift into a full priced one.

And don't forget to double check when your packages will arrive - if you're buying this holiday season's hottest item, your package might take longer to get to you because it's being ordered in large quantities. *Bonus Tip: If you don't want to pay for shipping at all, get all your shopping done at Target.com! The company is offering free shipping to all guests, with no minimum purchase required!

4. Mind Your Calendar

We've all seen the news stories about those famous Black Friday lines, where people start camping outside big box stores, days before the big day. But if you're really smart, you'll start looking for Black Friday deals by the Monday before at the latest (Nov. 20th). That's when Black Friday store previews start, where you'll be able to see what discounts will be available at your favorite store on the big day.

And if you're currently scouting for your Cyber Monday sales, don't forget to bookmark the web pages with the deals you find and like! It may sound obvious, but how any times have you sworn you were "Totally going to remember that web link" and then, a day later, you've totally forgotten it. Don't let your deals get away! Bookmark them in your browser and open them right up on Monday!

5. Savings Aren't Just for Early Birds

Don't think that you'll only get great Black Friday Deals if you fight the crazy crowds! While you can go to an early bird savings deal event, if that's your thing. But if it isn't, take heart: Plenty of stores also offer "night owl" specials, which usually take place between the hours of 12am and 4am.

This is perfect for anyone who isn't a big fan of crowds, but also for anyone that would rather stay up late to save, instead of trying not to hit the snooze button.

6. Bring Your Mail Along

Well, not all your mail - just the store advertisements you get in the mail. This way, if you go to a store and can't find a certain item advertised at the price in the store's printed ad, you can let the store know and either be pointed in the right direction or be given a discount on something different.

Not to mention that if you bring a competitor's printed ad to your favorite place to shop, your store might actually meet or beat the competitor's price on a product, making good on advertised "lowest price guarantee" promises.

7. Pay with Store Plastic

If you've been reasonable about spending on your store credit card this year, think about bringing it out to play for Black Friday shopping! Your favorite stores love to give their customers more deals and discounts when they make purchases with their loyalty card. Just make sure you don't get carried away!

8. Do Your Research

If you see an advert for a sale and it seems to good to be true, trust your instincts, because it might be! While there are plenty of awesome sales for you to take advantage of, some merchants just use exaggerated savings to clear their stock of items that didn't sell well or are of poor quality. So when you see big savings on something you want, make sure you check reviews online and ask plenty of questions so you get your money's worth.

Also make sure that those sales include everything you need with the product you're buying, including accessories. No one likes buying a gaming console, only to find out that it doesn't come with any controllers. Make sure your awesome sales deal is really meeting your needs - especially so you don't have to buy more later on.

Do you do your holiday season shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or some other time during the year? Join the conversation on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.

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