NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's game time! Black Friday is this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when doorbuster deals draw the diehards out to the shops and the malls to score some of the best deals of the year.
To help you plan your pregame strategy, 7 On Your Side has 7 Black Friday plays.
An estimated 165 million shoppers will be crowding malls and scanning cyberspace looking for bargains over Black Friday weekend.
So with just more than three weeks left until Christmas, it's time to strategize.
1 - Create a budget: Ask yourself, what can I afford to spend, and work back. This reduces the urge to splurge and keep your expenses in line.
2 - Research: Familiarize yourself on prices and scan models and features of products so you don't get rushed into buying the wrong doorbuster deal, like a TV that can't stream and you have to replace it.
3 - Load your phone with promo codes/coupons and bar codes right onto your camera roll: This will save time, especially if you have no internet connection.
4 - Download price tracking tools: Apps like BuyVia notify you when prices drop and provides discount coupons on thousands of items, and Shop Savvy geo-locates best offers nearby.
5 - Like, Follow and Friend favorite retailers on social media for discounts: Nina Pineda liked Dicks Sporting Goods and within 24 hours got an exclusive coupon right in her Facebook feed. Look to Instagram for discounts from smaller independent retailers.
6 - Just say no to the hard sell on store credit cards: Salespeople will pitch you 10 to 20 percent off if you open a credit card with them. These are usually high interest credit cards that will ding your credit score.
7 - Don't open the box: To avoid restocking fees, don't unbox that TV or computer to put a bow on it, as many stores will charge you a restocking fee if that box is open.
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7 On Your Side's 7 tips for Black Friday shopping
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