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Published: Sunday 02 April, 2017

10 tips for Black Friday weekend I enjoy following the latest fashion and home trends, but I am for the most part a happy voyeur until there's a sale. That's when my primal hunting instincts kick in. Give me a deal and I'll part Kids Soccer Cleats with my hard earned money. Now that we're in the season of sales, it's the time of year when the savvy shopper can really score big. Some of the best deals are found during the holiday shopping season with the trifecta of shopping occurring Thanksgiving weekend. Black Friday (which now begins Thanksgiving night) kicks off the sale season, followed by Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE Black Friday not what it used to be Knowing what to buy when will yield big savings for yourself and all your gift giving needs. Here are 10 tips to help you navigate this year's holiday shopping: 1. Pre shop Black Friday In the pre Internet Dark Ages, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when crowds would converge in the wee hours of the morning to nab door buster specials on electronics and such. You can still save big on big ticket electronic items, but you can now do it in your pajamas on Thanksgiving morning on your tablet or laptop. The electronic deals do go fast so you have to be at the starting gate to get the deals. Thanksgiving morning. 2. Timing is everything. If you enjoy the actual experience of huddling in the cold, stores are open on Thursday nights now and you'll find the crowds outside Best Buy and Walmart. I've been skipping the big box stores in favor of the malls now that Black Friday occurs right after you've digested your turkey. The crowds are more manageable and you will find one day only deals such as 20 percent off the already low prices at Forever 21. There are also timed sales at the mall, with the deals expiring at various times on Black Friday. Black Thursday through Friday is a good time to stock up on electronics, clothing and toys. 3. Everything is Frozen This year's hottest toy theme is the Disney animated film Frozen. Stores are stocked with Frozen items galore, from stockings to pajamas to stuffed animals. I stopped by Target in Henrietta this week and found Frozen character items to be selling briskly already, so don't wait. We waited to purchase a Princess Anna costume for Halloween and found that they were sold out in stores and online. Fortunately, my tween daughter is crafty so she sewed her own costume. 4. Small Business Saturday The marketing phrase coined by American Express in 2010 has really caught on with shoppers. If you want to avoid the crowds on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday offers an opportunity to shop local while getting some good bargains. Many independently owned businesses offer specials on Small Business Saturday. I tend to stick around my neighborhood in Brighton where places such as Cooks' World, 2179 Monroe Ave., and B. Younique, 1892 Monroe Ave., offer specials. The beauty of these shops is that they wrap gifts for free, leaving you more time to shop. Other small businesses that offer Small Business Saturday specials include Main Street Mercantile at 62 N. Main St. in Fairport. No, you won't find below wholesale door buster specials on that Saturday, but the shopping is less stressful and the merchants are your neighbors. 5. Small business expansion If you are dedicated to shopping local, several small businesses have recently expanded. Paislee Boutique is now open at Tops Plaza in Brighton, 1900 S. Clinton Ave., along with its sister store Silk Bridal. You can find gifts such as affordable jewelry and accessories at Paislee. Peppermint at 121 Park Ave. in Rochester also expanded with a dedicated room for shoes and boots. And earlier this spring, One Jane boutique moved to a larger space at 28 S. Main St. in the village of Pittsford offering art to wear clothing and accessories with brands such as Krista Larson.

BENRUS, a new boutique slated to open at the Culver Road Armory in December, will feature popular military style clothing and accessories. 6. Artistic hub Rochester is known for its concentration of talented artists. You can support local artisans by shopping at many of the area's artistic hubs, such as at the Hungerford Building in Rochester, 1115 East Main St., where you will find clay artists such as Richard Aerni and Hodaka Hasebe. Anderson Alley at 250 N. Goodman Street is also home to many artists' studio. 7. Shopping cyber Cyber Monday is yet another phrase created by marketers. In 2005, in a push to get people to buy more online, marketers created the term Cyber Monday, with e retailers noting that their traffic jumped the work day after Thanksgiving. Since then, Cyber Monday has taken on a life of its own. Online retailers offer deep, deep discounts that day. It's also the day to nab free shipping, often with no minimum purchase. Some bricks and mortar stores offer incredible deals on their companion sites that day. 8. The skinny on Cyber Monday 9. Deal segmentation I've found that fashion deals tend to be better on Cyber Monday and electronics deals are better on Black Friday and the week leading up to Black Friday. Nike Kids Mercurial Superfly V FG Soccer Cleats Now this may be the time of year to shop, but it is also a season of giving. I put my bargain hunting prowess to good use by donating some of my finds to less fortunate families. So if you see me in line Black Friday with a cart filled to the brim, some of it is going to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Really.

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