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What to buy on Black Friday

Seven On Your Side
December 1, 2011 11:33:16 AM PST
The holiday shopping season officially kicks off on Black Friday, but certain items are better buys than others.

"Even Apple, which is not really known for sales anytime of the year, will have something on Black Friday to bring in shoppers," shopping expert Farnoosh Torabi said.

The personal finance guru, who helps consumers budget with the online bill managing service, Manilla, says shoppers will see "one day only" modest discounts at the Apple stores, but she says look for even bigger savings on Apple products elsewhere.

"Like Best Buy, Amazon, Target," she said. "Do some comparison shopping. You might even find better deals. For example, some stores are giving you gift cards for purchasing Apple products at their stores."

Stores slash prices to get you in the door, stick to your list and what's proven to be the best Black Friday bargains to maximize savings.

"The hottest items include second tier electronics, non-brand clothing dorm room accessories, kitchen appliances and some toys," Torabi said.

Another best bet is mid-priced flat screen TVs.

"Forty-inch HD TVs from Walmart, Best Buy, these are great buys if this is something that is on your list," she said. "You want a new TV for your den, for your children's room. We're not talking top-tier electronics, not the products getting reviewed by Consumer Reports. We're talking middle of the road electronics."

Some people vow not to set foot in the stores on Black Friday. Instead, they'll cyber shop for the same deals.

"A lot of retailers are offering the same deals online," Farnoosh said. "You can get free shipping many times. And you're doing it from the comfort of your home. You avoid the crowds. It's a no-brainer."

Remember, Black Friday is about getting cheap stuff cheap, so stock up on smaller gifts. Buy your non-designer hats and gloves, but not your winter coats yet. They'll be less expensive later in the season.

"Take a breather," Farnoosh said. "Bring some water, pace yourself in the mall, stick to your list and try not to be too overwhelmed by all that going on around you."

Stay in control. Stores will inundate you with pitches to get more out of your pocket, and that means maximizing the hours you shop and spend.

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