App-ly yourself to get Black Friday deals

Smartphone comes in handy for shoppers

Milwaukee Journal SentinelNovember 22, 2012 

  • Here are the hours for several chain stores. Unless noted, stores that are open Thursday night will stay open into Friday.

    Bed Bath & Beyond: 6 a.m. Friday

    Best Buy: Midnight (door-buster tickets to be handed out up to two hours before)

    Big Lots: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, 6 a.m. Friday

    CVS: 24-hour stores will stay open

    Dick's Sporting Goods: Midnight

    hhgregg: 10 p.m.

    Home Depot: 5 a.m. Friday

    J.C. Penney: 6 a.m. Friday

    Kmart: 8 p.m. Thursday (Also open 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday) (Black Friday deals begin at 5 a.m.)

    Kohl's: Midnight

    Lowe's: Midnight

    Macy's: Midnight, hours may vary

    Michaels: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, 7 a.m. Friday

    Office Depot: 5 a.m. Friday

    OfficeMax: 6 a.m. Friday, hours may vary

    Old Navy: Midnight

    Rite Aid: 7 a.m. Friday

    Sam's Club: 7 a.m. Friday

    Sears: 8 p.m. Thursday

    Staples: 5 a.m. Friday

    Target: 9 p.m. Thursday

    Toys R Us: 8 p.m. Thursday

    Walgreens: 7 a.m. Friday

    Walmart: 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. Thursday (electronics), but may vary. 5 a.m. Friday.

  • Thanksgiving, Black Friday hours

For those of you braving Black Friday, here are some ways to check prices and find the best time to buy:

In store

■ A few stores keep their price-matching policies in place on Black Friday. That includes Kohl's, Walmart, J.C. Penney, Home Depot and Staples. Remember to bring print ads or show an online screen shot to get the match.

■ Keep your receipts. Retailers such as Target offer price-matching with Amazon.com, Walmart, Best Buy and Toys R Us until Dec. 16. If you can't get the retailer to match a cheaper price, you may be able to return the more expensive item.

On your phone

A wealth of smartphone apps are available. They fall into three categories: price-comparison, discount and product comparison.

Discount apps: Stores including Macy's and Sears have promised exclusive deals for app users. Walmart promised early access to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to shoppers.

Price-comparison apps: RedLaser lets you scan a bar code and see the cheapest price. It sorts by distance, so you may have to scroll for the best price.

Decide.com is good for the gadget freaks who are looking for TVs, computers, cameras, power tools and appliances. It shows prices online and near you, but also whether a new model will come out soon so you know whether to buy right away or wait.

Price Check by Amazon and Google Shopper both will show you whether there's a cheaper price online. You can scan the bar code, take a picture of the item or say its name.

Product comparison apps: Some products advertised on Black Friday aren't the best quality. This app from Consumer Reports will cost you $5 for access for a year, but you also get ratings, reviews and buying advice. You can scan the bar code, type in the product or find top picks in categories.

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