The Deal Diva’s 101 on Black Friday:
• 93 percent of 2014 Black Friday ads contain at least one item offered at the 2013 price.
• One of the best-kept secrets is Groupon. This year, you’ll find offers for 29 percent off Chromecast, 39 percent off the Roku Streaming Stick and 89 percent off Fendi sunglasses.
• Big stores stagger deals, so watch their websites and circulars for what goes on sale and when.
• Some retailers guarantee availability. But if they run out, make sure to clarify when the product will be available.
• Toys “R” Us, Walmart and Target will match prices from other stores. Keep an eye on prices (mobile apps and Twitter can help with this).
• Some deals I have my eye on: Earn $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spend; get a $100 Target gift card when you buy an iPad Air 16GB or iPad mini 2 16GB and a $30 gift card when you buy an iPhone 5s 16GB phone; get a $10 off coupon in the J.C. Penney circular Thanksgiving morning; get a $100 Walmart gift card when you buy a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2; score a free one-day Redbox DVD rental from Walgreens.
Top Black Friday tips
1. Don’t buy a TV. The deals are tempting, but most experts agree you’ll find better deals the week before the Super Bowl.
2. Wait to buy toys. You’ll see deeper sales the two weeks before Christmas. The exception is if you’re trying to score the season’s hottest toys: Disney’s Frozen Elsa Talking Glow Doll, the Lego Minecraft Village Set or the Doc McStuffins Mobile Clinic.
3. If you’re looking for an Apple product, go to Walmart or Best Buy to get better deals.
4. Wear comfortable shoes, be patient and take a friend so you can double-team and shop two areas of a store at one time.
5. Take your phone and use apps RetailmeNot and Twitter to score the best deals.
Get real-time Black Friday deals at charlotteobserver.com/business.