5 On Your Side

Tools to help you get the best Black Friday deals

Posted November 12, 2018 11:45 a.m. EST
Updated November 13, 2018 1:32 p.m. EST

— Each year, people crowd stores for Black Friday deals.

Sometimes it is worth it, but how can consumers be sure they are getting the best deal?

Black Friday crowds can be dangerous -- people rush, trample and sometimes even fight just to get a deal.

"Just the 'idea' that you're getting a bargain can affect a center of your brain that can cloud your reasoning and make you open your wallet," said Margot Gilman, a money editor at Consumer Reports. "Of course, retailers know this and play on it by offering deals that really might not be such good bargains."

To get a real steal, experts say you should back up and start your shopping with a clear head.

"Go in with your eyes wide open and with a healthy sense of skepticism," said Gilman. "Take advantage of tools that exist -- there are many apps that will help you track prices so you know when a deal is really a bargain."

There are also some tools available for use.

Browser extensions such as The Camelizer, Invisible-Hand or PriceBlink scour the web for the best deals, while price alerts, such as CamelCamelCamel, Price-Tracker, Shop it to Me and Slick-Deals, tell you when prices for specific items drop.

Similarly, price comparison apps like Buy-Via, Now-Discount, Scan-Life and ShopSavvy tell you if there's a better deal out there -- either online or at a local store.

While you shop, remember coupon apps like Coupon Sherpa or Snip-Snap offer discounts to use at check out.

To make sure you have the best deal after you buy something, use price adjustment apps following your purchase. You can initiate a refund if prices drop on something you've already bought -- but you may have to expose your bank and credit card information for the apps to work.