Fine Print: How to find the best bargains on Black Friday

Staff reports

The best day for bargain shopping is just around the corner, and we can't think of a better person to provide advice about navigating all the deals on Black Friday than Edgar Dworsky, the founder of the Web site. The Somerville, Mass., resident has compiled a list of tips to remember if you're thinking of braving the crowds on Friday. 

- Read the ads. Check local papers on Thanksgiving for circulars and last-minute deals. Friday's papers will include info about additional sales. Advance copies of some of the store ads can be found at or

- Do your research. Some of the best Web sites for product research include Consumer Reports, (for digital cameras), (for audio-visual equipment), and (for computers). Consumer reviews also can be useful: Check out and the user comments after many product descriptions on

- Get there early. Toys “R” Us stores open at midnight, Old Navy will open at 3 a.m., and Sears and Kohl's stores are supposed to open at 4 a.m. Wal-Mart pledges to be open for 24 hours, but Black Friday sale items won't be available until 5 a.m. Plot your route from store-to-store, based on store opening times. There invariably will be plenty of “doorbuster” sales to reward the early-bird shoppers. Prepare for Black Friday shopping by checking out the key stores on Wednesday to learn each store's floor plan in advance.

- Beat the crowds. Some Black Friday deals will be available to online shoppers on Thanksgiving or early Friday morning. Both Wal-Mart and Sears have been running pre-Black Friday sales on weekends.

- Check the return policy. While many stores have extended their return deadlines into January, others are clamping down by imposing restocking fees on certain categories of items, or by using a returns tracking system to deny refunds to returns abusers.

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