Black Friday is nearly upon us, and the advertised sales for the popular shopping day have already begun popping up everywhere.
The annual holiday shopping blitz is a tradition for some families, who get in line before sunrise to snag discounted items at Target, WalMart or Best Buy.
But opinions and theories vary about how much shoppers actually save hitting the stores on Black Friday.
USA Today reported last year that Black Friday is often one of the worst times to buy during the year, as stores create hype around sales to lure you into the store to buy more.
Here are a few tips to ensure you get the deal you intended:
Doorbuster sales vs. guarantees
Doorbuster sales, which often appear to be quite the deal, don't last long and tend to be available to only a few ambitious shoppers, according to Time Money.
“If you don’t secure a spot at the front of the line or log online the moment a sale starts, you could miss your shot at these big deals,” Time Money reports. “Shoppers should look for stores with doorbuster guarantees. In some cases, as long as you arrive at a certain time, you can be guaranteed the low price.”
Discounts vs. value
Be skeptical of the signs touting discounts. Some stores inflate their base product cost to make the Black Friday deals appear better than they are, according to Time Money.
“If you shop this year on Black Friday, don’t pay attention to the supposed percentage of the discounts. Instead, judge the value of a product based on the sale price and how it compares with the item’s price at other stores.”
Business Tech suggests reviewing prices now, so you can see how much savings you’ll receive from the Black Friday sales.
Fake vs. real websites
Discounts and sales might appear too good to be true. When shopping online, triple check the credibility of the websites before embracing the sale.
According to Business Tech, make sure websites include the “https://” in front of the URL, or web address, before entering credit card information to make a purchase.
Don’t fall for the mail-in rebate
Mail-in rebates often require paying a higher price, with the promise of receiving money back by mailing in their receipt and filling out a form.
But the Dallas Morning News says this often isn't worth the hassle for most shoppers.
“Unless you're disciplined enough to fill out the form and wait to receive the rebate, you could end up paying more than you intended," the newspaper reported.
Review return policies
Shoppers should pay attention on return policies, according to TechRadar.com, which monitors prices and deals on tech devices.
"For sale items you might find a return is entirely out of the question, leaving you lumped with a gift card. Bearing this in mind, it’s worth checking whether this is the case before you commit to a purchase you’re not entirely certain of," according to TechRadar.