If you're already looking forward to scouting out the best Black Friday deals, you're clearly far from alone. Each year, many Americans look forward to the thrill of the hunt when it comes to securing the best bargains retailers can offer.
That's especially true when it comes to the newest, most enticing consumer electronics. This year 68 percent of U.S. adults— some 170 million people— plan to buy tech gifts, reports the Consumer Technology Association.
Last year was a record year for technology buys over the week kicked off by Black Friday, when 61.7 million Americans stepped up to snag the latest-model TVs, tablets, smartphones, video game consoles and other fun and useful electronics.
— Research the offers. Instead of having a knee-jerk reaction to a flashy Black Friday ad, comparison shop for the best prices.
— Know which features you want. Comparison shopping will be easier if you do your homework and know ahead of time which product features are essential and which ones are lower priority. When mulling high-ticket items, you may even wish to keep a notebook.
— Optimize price matching. Many stores have policies through which they'll match competitors' prices on electronics if you show them the corresponding ads. Take advantage of that to avoid having to hop from store to store (where you'll need to find parking at each one).
— Think twice about battling crowds. You may be surprised how many retailers now offer the exact same Black Friday deals both in-store and online. Even better, many offer free shipping over Black Friday weekend.