Go Hi-Tech on Black Friday and Save Big

Stay home and save more by taking advantage these new online features.

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The day after Thanksgiving is well known as the biggest shopping day of the year. Stores put a few things on an incredible sale to draw crowds, even opening their doors in the wee hours of the morning. Every year we hear stories of shoppers lining up in front of Wal-Mart or Best Buy to be the first in line at 4 am when the doors open

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If a pre-dawn invasion of your favorite retailer is not your idea of a good time, there are some hi-tech options that can help you save time and save money. In fact, as Internet sales climb year over year, some of the best deals can be find online, not in the store.

So if you’d prefer to get your holiday shopping done in your PJs while sipping a hot cup of tea, here are some tips and tools to consider.

Online Coupons: Promotional codes, online coupons and deals are nothing new. A search for anything from Verizon Wireless deals to Best Buy coupons will yield many sites that track current deals from popular retailers. But on Black Friday, almost all retailers release special sales for just that day. Search for the online coupons of your favorite retailers, and you’re sure to find great online deals.

Twitter: There are two ways to use Twitter to find Black Friday sales. First, some Twitter accounts focus on nothing but Black Friday. A good example is http://twitter.com/Blackfriday. Follow their tweets for great deals the day after Thanksgiving. Second, you can follow the Twitter accounts of your favorite retailers. Many merchants of now embraced social media like Twitter, and they will be sharing their Black Friday specials through Twitter.

Black Friday Sites: There are several websites devoted to Black Friday sales. These sites showcase deals from hundreds of merchants, and include links directly to the merchant websites where you can shop online. Some of the more popular Black Friday sites include http://slickdeals.net/blackfriday/, http://www.blackfriday.info/ , and http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/.

Retailer Black Friday Specials: Of course, you can always visit the merchant sites directly for current sales. Many merchants have or will set up sections of their site specifically to promote Black Friday deals. Amazon, for example, has a page devoted to these deals. The page is empty now, but will no doubt be overflowing with deals on November 26. And here’s an example of a Black Friday page from Target.

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Black Friday Apps: Finally, several mobile applications have been developed to help shoppers find deals on Black Friday. One of the more popular apps for the iPhone is called TGI Black Friday. This app helps you find Black Friday deals weeks ahead of time so you can plan your shopping. And of course it includes online deals and coupons as well. For smart phones running Android, one option is the Black Friday Survivor Guide app. This app gives you breaking news on the latest Black Friday deals, lets you search for deals on products you want, enables you to create a shopping list, and lets you set up alerts on the latest Black Friday news and sales.

This year, avoid the early morning stampede by finding your Black Friday deals online.

DR is the founder of the popular personal finance blog, the Dough Roller and credit card review site, Credit Card Offers IQ.