The best day for bargain shopping is just around the corner, and we can't think of a better person to provide advice about navigating all the deals on Black Friday than Edgar Dworsky, the founder of the ConsumerWorld.org Web site.

The best day for bargain shopping is just around the corner, and we can't think of a better person to provide advice about navigating all the deals on Black Friday than Edgar Dworsky, the founder of the ConsumerWorld.org Web site. The Somerville, Mass., resident has compiled a list of tips to remember if you're thinking of braving the crowds on Friday. 

- Read the ads. Check local papers on Thanksgiving for circulars and last-minute deals. Friday's papers will include info about additional sales. Advance copies of some of the store ads can be found at bfads.net or blackfriday.gottadeal.com.   


- Do your research. Some of the best Web sites for product research include Consumer Reports, Steves-Digicams.com (for digital cameras), Ecoustics.com (for audio-visual equipment), and PCMagazine.com (for computers). Consumer reviews also can be useful: Check out Epinions.com and the user comments after many product descriptions on Amazon.com.    


- Get there early. Toys “R” Us stores open at midnight, Old Navy will open at 3 a.m., and Sears and Kohl's stores are supposed to open at 4 a.m. Wal-Mart pledges to be open for 24 hours, but Black Friday sale items won't be available until 5 a.m. Plot your route from store-to-store, based on store opening times. There invariably will be plenty of “doorbuster” sales to reward the early-bird shoppers. Prepare for Black Friday shopping by checking out the key stores on Wednesday to learn each store's floor plan in advance.


- Beat the crowds. Some Black Friday deals will be available to online shoppers on Thanksgiving or early Friday morning. Both Wal-Mart and Sears have been running pre-Black Friday sales on weekends.


- Check the return policy. While many stores have extended their return deadlines into January, others are clamping down by imposing restocking fees on certain categories of items, or by using a returns tracking system to deny refunds to returns abusers.  


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