POSTED: Thursday, November 24, 2011 - 8:50pm
UPDATED: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 4:22pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Black Friday is now turning into Black Thursday and several retailers are opening up their doors at 10:00 p.m. tonight.
Whether you're jumping off the couch tonight or first thing tomorrow morning for the big shopping weekend, don't leave home without a good strategy.
Doorbuster deals will have crowds busting through the doors as early as 9:00 p.m. Thursday. But consumer advocate Andrea Woroch warns those hot ticket items are usually limited in quantity.
"Call ahead and find out how many are in fact available, or even consider shopping online where you have more inventory, from multiple retailers," she says.
And because times are still tough for retailers, Andrea says it never hurts to try and haggle.
"82 percent of holiday shoppers last year found that when they negotiated, they were able to get better deals, usually on electronics."
This year, there are several apps that can help you organize your shopping, starting with the holiday gift list app, which costs $1.99.
"Have a detailed plan of who you're planning to shop for, maybe a few gift ideas, and a general price for how much you want to spend."
New this year: more retailers are offering price matches. And it's easier than ever to shop around and save money using your mobile SmartPhone.
"If you download the red laser or snap tell bar code scanning apps, it'll provide instant price comparison for local brick and mortar stores as well as online retailers. Coupon Sherpa's mobile coupon app will offer instant coupons on your phone when you're shopping in-store and it uses GPS to provide coupons based on your location."
And if you get tired of dealing with the crowds at the mall she says, "Don't fret. There's still plenty of opportunity to take advantage of holiday deals on Cyber Monday. You'll find great deals on electronics, appliances, digital cameras, video games."