Black Friday: What retailers don't want you to know

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PHOENIX -- The holiday decorations are out and so are the deals.

But before you rush out to buy everything on your gift list this Black Friday, CouponCraze.com CEO Christian Gordun has some advice.

“Consumers need to go to the store with a plan,” he said.

That's especially true for electronics.

Gordun suggests you buy hot items like XBOX360 Kinect or Playstation Move soon before they're sold out.

“But people should be holding off on high-end televisions until January because the lowest prices appear then due to teh Super Bowl, and a Consumer Electronics Show that comes out,” he said.

Clothing, Gordun said, can also wait.

“The rule of thumb is to wait until after Christmas for the deepest discounts,” he said. Unless, of course, what you're buying is a gift.

Regardless of whether you're shopping in the store or online, Gordun reminds consumers it’s more important than ever to shop smart.

“Be sure that the deal you see is really a deal,” he said.

A Sylvania 7-inch Netbook, for example, has Black Friday sale price of $95 at CVS.

That's down, the ad says, from $160.

But we found that netbook ordinarily sells for $100, making your savings just $5, not $65.

A few minutes of research online also shows the netbook on sale for around $110 everyday.

"There's a lot of different strategies going on," Gordun said. "I guess the best way to put it is retailers are smarter."

Websites like PriceGrabber.com or Shopzilla.com allow you to track the price of an item.

So, if you aren't sure you're getting a good deal, Gordun said, waiting can pay off.

“Patience is a money-saving virtue when it comes to shopping in-store and online,” he said.

According to Gordun, the time to find the best deals is the second week in December because many retailers will dramatically cut prices or offer free shipping incentives to hit their year-end sales goals.

Taking a page from the Groupon and Glit Groupe playbook, many online retailers now offer deals that last less than 24 hours.

With less time to think about a purchase, shoppers need to diligently monitor a short list of products and stores via their websites or e-newsletters to figure out the best time to buy.