Photo Credit: Jewish Press

It’s mid-November, which means it’s nearly Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Many retailers start advertising deals in the weeks leading up to November 29 and, even if you love shopping, shifting through the many options to find the best deals can be exhausting.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

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* Check for Sales in Advance: Many retailers offer discounts a week or two before Black Friday. Company websites, social media, and even Black Friday apps are great places to search for sales in advance.

* Do Your Research: Something that looks like a great deal may not actually be a great deal. Do your homework. Compare pricing. Sometimes a product advertised as cheaper is a stripped-down version or doesn’t have all the elements you believe to be standard. Other times the retailer has bumped up the price prior to Black Friday to make it look like you’re getting a better deal.

You also don’t want to spend the bulk of your day figuring out exactly which features you want your new laptop to have, so researching product specifications before Black Friday is important too.

* Have a Plan and a Budget: Seeing all the great prices for items you’ve been dreaming about can be overwhelming. Start planning in advance. Compile a wish list and decide how much you want to spend on each item. Then, map out your day.

Some people like to allocate time for the purchase of each item. Others prefer to prioritize items in order of importance and start at the top of the list. You don’t want the day to pass without having purchased the “must-haves” on your list.

* Set Up Price Alerts: Price alerts let you know when the price of an item drops below a certain number. There are many free price alert tools such as Honey, PriceBlink, WikiBuy, and CamelCamelCamel, which just works with Amazon. Each tool has different features, so you can use a few simultaneously.

* Resist the Urge to Spend: You’re not saving money if you don’t need and probably will never use the product or service. Don’t get caught up in the rush.

* Understand Return and Exchange Policies: Sometimes stores have different return or exchange policies for sale items or items sold on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Check the return and exchange policy in advance so that you are not disappointed later.

* Experiences Go On Sale Too: If you think Black Friday or Cyber Monday specials are just for “stuff,” you might want to think again. You can get passes for parks, escape rooms, axe-throwing, and a myriad of other adventures at a discounted rate.

* Choose Your Payment Method Carefully: If you’re paying with credit cards, be sure to use the cards that give you points, rewards or cashbacks for your purchases. Based on data from previous years, the average Black Friday shopper is expected to spend over $500 dollars this Thanksgiving weekend. You might as well get some sort of reward for that!

* Be Aware of Scams: Don’t give out your credit card or login details. Ensure your anti-malware software is up to date. And, if an online ad on a social media site seems too good to be true, don’t click on it. It probably is – and you don’t want to infect your computer with malware.

* Have Fun: Sure, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are about shopping and finding the best pricing on all your “wish-list” items. But don’t be too disappointed if you miss a sale. There will always be another one.

Happy shopping!

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Bracha Halperin is COO of Cazamio and managing partner of JYRG Capital. To comment on her Jewish Press-exclusive tech columns – or to reach her for any other purpose – e-mail her at brachahalperin@hotmail.com. You can also follow her on Instagram or Twitter @brachahalperin.