Depending on your perspective, Black Friday has become a veritable holiday unto itself: a paean to American capitalism and the joy of deal hunting. Or, you know, a cultural dark spot that calls into question our country's materialism and conscience. As avid bargain hunters ourselves, we're split, and we figure if you absolutely, positively, have to brave the cold and chaos come this Friday, then you'd better make sure you come home with some bonafide deals. We consulted retail maven Tyler Thoreson, Gilt Groupe's VP of men's editorial and creative, who reminded us that, as a whole, the bargain-hunting process "is supposed to be fun. There are amazing deals to be had – you just need to know what you're doing." Here are his insider's tips on how to prep ahead of time, how to suss out deals on the fly, and how to prevent buyer's remorse on the big day.
There are apps for this.
There are a wealth of apps available now, most of them free, that can help you navigate the Black Friday brick-and-mortar rush both ahead of time and on the day of the big game. We like Zoomingo, which shows you the best deals in your area, while ShopAdvisor lets you scan an in-store item to see if another retailer has it for less. (It also checks online retailers, saving you the trip to another store.) Gift It helps you keep track of and check off gifts. And should you find yourself in a behemoth of a shopping mall, FastMall is your best friend: It'll point you toward the food court, bathroom, and elevators, and it even helps you find your parked car.
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