It' only Monday, plenty of time to prepare for the big day. MarketWatch's Kathy Kristof offers up a number of suggestions, including:
Do pre-shop: The web is a great equalizer, allowing you to easily compare prices from one retailer to the next. If you see an advertised product that you want and think is a good deal, plug the brand name and particulars into a Google search bar and see what turns up. If you Google "Vizio 42" television," for example, you're going to see prices ranging from $409 to $539. Given that hundreds of retailers launch Free Shipping offers at this time of year, if your best deal is a web offer, you don't need to be bothered by the cost of getting it home.
Don't be fooled by false "benchmarking:" Consumers become a little starry-eyed when faced with exceptionally steep discounts. If you say that something is 50% or 60% off and the world - or at least a lot of frenzied consumers - are likely to beat a path to your door. Retailers know this and sometimes exploit the knowledge by marking products up in order to mark them down more sharply. Normal retail prices are at a retailer's discretion, so one might say that the television retails for $1,200 but is marked down to $600 - a 50% savings. And you might think that's a better deal than the $750 t.v. that was marked down 20% to $600, unless you do some pre-shopping and realize that it's actually the same set.