Are you an Amazon addict? 10 can't-miss tips every shopper should know for Black Friday

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Black Friday is coming. Are you prepared? (Photo: Getty Images)

Are you ready for the biggest shopping event of the year?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only two weeks away, and retailers like Amazon are getting ready to drop exclusive deals and deep discounts on thousands of products for the holidays. If you’ve been eyeing a big 4K TV or a new smartphone or tablet, Black Friday is the best time to pick them up. After all, these are likely to be the lowest prices we’ll see all year.

While Amazon has yet to announce any deals or early bird specials, it’s only a matter of time before all the deep savings come rolling in.

In the meantime, we put together ways you can get a jumpstart on all the shopping madness, as well as a few tips and tricks to find the best deals.

Here are 10 tips every Amazon shopper should know for Black Friday.

Shop early

Last year, Amazon actually dropped Black Friday deals a week before Thanksgiving Day, so we’re expecting the same thing to happen this year. Keep a keen eye on Amazon Deals of the Day (savings that last for 24 hours) and Lightning Deals (sales that are only active for a few hours) for quick and fast deals, while sales will continue on throughout Thanksgiving weekend all the way through Cyber Monday.

Make sure you know exactly what you’re looking to buy. This might sound obvious, but if you go into Black Friday without a wishlist, you’re going to waste valuable time searching for products instead of taking advantage of deals.

If you plan to buy a new 4K TV, have the size and brand name in mind before Black Friday hits. There might already be a good deal on the TV you want, and you don’t have to wait two weeks to watch your favorite shows and movies.

The best way to do this is to come back and bookmark Yahoo Shopping. This is where you’ll find the best deals and products to make your life easier during the holidays.

Amazon Prime

Prime members are considered the cream of the crop at Amazon and early access to both Daily and Lightning Deals is just one of the numerous perks of having a membership. Another can’t-miss perk includes free one- or two-day shipping on millions of products. Why wait in line for hours when you can have items shipped to you in the comfort of your own home?

Sign up for a 30-day free trial now! (Photo: Amazon)

30-day free trial

If you’re not a member or have no desire to invest $179 per year for Amazon Prime, the online retailer offers a very generous 30-day free trial to try before you buy.

You can get the same access to Amazon’s Deals of the Day and Lightning Deals without spending a single penny on membership. However, if you do end up enjoying all the perks that come with Amazon Prime, just stick with the service for an entire year.

If you do go down the free trial route for Black Friday, we recommend you start your 30-day membership about a week before Thanksgiving, so you could take advantage of all the possible early deals mentioned above.

Sign up for a 30-day free trial here.

Amazon Happy Holideals

Along with Deals of the Day and Lightning Deals, Amazon has a special section dedicated to exclusive savings called Amazon Gold Box. This is where the best of the best deals are gathered in one place.

However, during the holidays, Amazon re-brands this section “Amazon Happy Holideals.” It’s still the place where you can find deep savings, but Amazon includes hundreds of new products that are on sale for a very limited time.

Sometimes the markdowns last as long as a week, so if you want to start saving now, this is the best place to begin. In fact, you should bookmark this webpage on your browser and plan to refresh it over and over again until you see a deal that strikes your fancy.

In addition, be sure to sign-up for Amazon’s daily deals email newsletter. Not only will you get information on what products are on sale for the day, but you can also get an immediate notification as soon as Deals of the Day go live.

Watch This Deal

While the daily deals email newsletter is a very good way for finding out what’s big ticket items on sale for the day, the Amazon app is great for getting a heads up for all Lightning Deals.

Here’s how it works: Download the Amazon Shopping app on iOS or Android smartphones, then go to “Today’s Deals” in the left-side menu. Go to “Upcoming Deals” to look through all the upcoming Lightning Deals. If something catches your eye, click “Watch This Deal” and Amazon will alert you via text message, push notification or email as soon as the deal is active. This also works on the desktop version of the website.

Never miss out on a Lightning Deal with this trick.

Alexa can help

“Alexa, what are your deals?” (Photo: Amazon)

Amazon has been known to “hide” some of their best deals in Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo Dot and Echo Show. About a week before Thanksgiving, ask Alexa, “Alexa, what are your deals?” and listen for the voice assistant to rattle off a list of exclusive discounts. Sometimes these deals average about 40-50 percent off retail.

Sometimes it pays to own an Echo Dot because it can save you money.

Wishlisting

For pro-level shoppers, there’s a little nifty trick called “wishlisting” that can seriously save you time and money during big shopping events like Black Friday. Simply add the products you want for Black Friday to your Amazon wish list.

Instead of having multiple tabs open, you’ll have just one page with everything you’re looking to add to your cart. So come Black Friday, you can easily see which of your wished-for items are on sale, so you can purchase it before it sells out or the deal is up.

It doesn’t stop there. If you download the Amazon Shopping app on your smartphone, you can get wishlist alerts and notifications whenever your selected items become Lightning Deals.

Waitlisting

Waitlisting is a different process for getting the deals you want on Black Friday. If you’re shopping a Lightning Deal and it suddenly sells out, you can join the waitlist on the deal itself to make sure you have a chance at claiming it.

Some shoppers click “add to cart” on a deal, but decide not to purchase the product at the last minute. Shoppers have 15 minutes to buy the item on sale or forfeit the opportunity if time lapses. If you waitlist a sold-out Lightning Deal, you’ll get a notification informing you that you’re next on the list to take advantage of the deal — if someone doesn’t end up buying it before you. You’ll also be given 15 minutes to make the purchase, otherwise you’ll lose out on the sale price, too.

However, this only happens for items that go out of stock during a Lightning Deal. If the time frame for the deal is over, you cannot join a waitlist.

Coupons

Amazon’s coupon section is where you can find even more markdowns. You can sort by most popular coupons, category, expiring soon and more. Simply “clip” the coupon and the discount will be applied to the product at checkout.

You might not find an additional savings on top of Black Friday deals, but this is also a good way to see what coupons are available to you year-round. Who knows? You just might find the holy grail of deals hidden away on Amazon’s website.

Browser Extensions

Knowing if a markdown is a good value is just half the battle for finding the best discounts. Sometimes, manufacturers claim to have a sale on an item, but really the company just dropped the price because it’s an older model.

You can track Amazon prices with handy browser extensions like Online Price AlertHoney and The Camelizer. Once installed to your favorite internet browser (mainly Google Chrome), you can see when a certain product was at its highest and lowest price point based on Amazon’s API (application programming interface).

Use The Camelizer to find a good deal on Amazon. (Photo: Camelizer/Screenshot)

Let’s take the Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System, for example. You can see that it’s on sale for $200. However, if you use The Camelizer to track the price, you can also see Amazon offered it for only $180 back in June. This is the lowest price that it has ever been, so the best time to buy the soundbar was at the beginning of the summer.

Now, time to round out your wishlists, bookmark all of Amazon’s deal pages, and get ready to shop — your perfect deal is just a few clicks away.

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