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5 Black Friday blunders to avoid

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SEATTLE -- A lot of people prepare for weeks to score the best Black Friday deals and knock out most of their Christmas shopping.

Others wander into Black Friday, and experts say that's never a good idea.

Here are five mistakes to avoid, courtesy of Tech Radar:

  1. Being unprepared: Have a list, and do some research on what you can expect to pay. Find the specific product you are looking for, price it out, and monitor deals on websites like Tech Radar and Best Black Friday that post deals in real time as stores release them.
  2. Waking up late: Retailers typically post their deals at the stroke of midnight, so set your alarm and get there early on Black Friday and get to your computer early on Cyber Monday.
  3. Getting scammed: Beware of deals that seem too good to be true on social media -- as well as unsolicited emails. Buy from retailers you trust, and pay securely using a debit card, credit card or PayPal so you can get your money back if anything goes wrong.
  4. Unnecessary spending: You are going to find some good deals; just make sure you don't overdo it. Make a list, set a budget and stick to it.
  5. Being lured into flashy deals: Sometimes, stores will have a very limited supply of a certain item, or offer what they call a derivative, or a model of a TV or computer that is stripped down and doesn't offer all the features of the normal device.
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