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November 20, 2012

Strategies for Black Friday success

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A: Rohlena recommends familiarizing yourself with the store layout before Black Friday. "If you're looking to buy a door buster, know where it's going to be in the store," Rohlena said. "Ask the manager whether the side door will be open." Know the times that the stores open, and be prepared to wait in long lines. Getting a door buster has never been an easy task, and experts are expecting high turnout again this year.

Q: Are there websites I should visit?

Most retailers released previews of their Black Friday circulars early this month. Visit stores to get their Black Friday ads, or check out some of our favorite comparison sites: Pricegrabber.com, Blackfriday.com, Fatwallet.com/Black-Friday, Bradsdeals.com. Follow @BlackFriday on Twitter. "Make sure you're following retailers on social media," LaRosa said. "Many retailers are announcing their deals there." And sign up for email alerts from your favorite retailers. You can always unsubscribe after the holidays.

Q: What should I buy on Black Friday? I'm going to be there, so should I buy other stuff I need, too?

A: "They're counting on you doing that," said Michael O'Hara, chief executive of online shopping platform Yumani. "They're selling these door busters at cost. They're not making money on the limited items, so they're planning you on doing your other shopping." At one-stop shops, retailers will make their money off the other goods you throw in the cart if you don't get a door buster, which means there's no such thing as trickle-down deals. If bananas are on sale at Target or Walmart on Black Friday, they'll probably be on sale the day after, too.

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