Every November Black Friday ads bring the promise of unbeatable deals. The only problem is that all-time great deals are hard to snag. Even though the majority of holiday promos are now available online, the best ones are still just as hard to get as they were when you had to risk your life at a B&M retail store.

However, we’ve put together the top 5 things you can do this Black Friday to improve your chances of grabbing the hottest online deals:

Do your homework:

Not all advertised Black Friday deals are actually deals. Some retailers will mark items below MSRP, but still at their street price hoping buyers will get caught up in Black Friday excitement and assume it’s a good deal. Start with our “Best Of” guides to get an overview of this year’s standout deals. If you’re interested in another product that we didn’t cover, check with multiple retailers now and note current prices. You can also search our past coverage to compare deal prices. Make sure you also take a look at Amazon’s best seller lists and reviews to gauge product quality.

Get your accounts ready:

Login to your retailer accounts before trying make a coveted Black Friday purchase. This will serve as an opportunity to make sure you actually know your login credentials and to update any outdated personal information including credit cards, mailing/billing address, and email. Messing with account information while trying to checkout could cost you a hot deal.

Be on time:

Every second counts when you’re battling the entire internet for a hot deal. Refer to Black Friday ads for retailer in-store and online hours, then be ready for when the sale goes live. You won’t be able to casually scoop up doorbuster-caliber deals at your convenience. Set a reminder on your iPhone so you don’t miss out.

Recruit extra help:

Ask your friends and family to try for the same deal. The more people and devices you have, the greater chance you’ll be able to get through. Dust off your old iPad, laptop, or iPod touch and work as many as possible. Make sure you have an easy way to communicate with others (text should work best) so you don’t end up with duplicate orders.

Be patient:

Most retailer’s online stores will buckle under Black Friday traffic. Don’t get frustrated and give up. Wait out any errors or downtime to have the best chance at scoring hot deals. It’s also worth trying different browsers, devices, and mobile sites/retailer apps to get around website issues. If the deal you’re looking for shows sold out, you should check back throughout the day as more stock could become available from cancelled orders or other buyer’s shopping carts expiring.

Above all, make sure you’re following us on Twitter so you can get the latest Black Friday deals as they happen.

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