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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012

Is Black Friday shopping really a deal?

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ClarkHoward.com and The Clark Howard Show offer more money-saving advice for your furniture and appliance buys.

By Clark Howard


Black Friday may not be the deal retailers make it out to be.

According to a new two-year study from price-tracking website Decide.com, the best deals could be going on right now. For example, TVs are historically a better deal now than they are closer to Christmas.

"The average price of a Samsung 46-inch 'Professional' LCD television was $1,159 in October, according to Decide," The Wall Street Journal reports. "On Black Friday, the same TV's average price was $1,355, the data found."

This data did not look specifically at door buster specials. So it is still possible to get a deal on items the retailers use a scalpel to figure out pricing strategies for in order to attract the freezing crowds that line up overnight.

So before you plan your Thanksgiving night, know the real deal. Black Friday can still be great if you're looking for the spectacle and the sport of shopping. But if it's about saving money, not so much.

Meanwhile, this year there's been a big rush to lock in the hot toys early because of new layaway policies at many retailers. So the toy thing could be crunch time as we move closer to Christmas this year. It may be to your advantage to move up shopping for that kind of stuff.

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