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Best Black Friday deals: Target, Amazon, Walmart, Toys R Us, Kohl's and more

(MoneyWatch) While Black Friday is very important to retailers' bottom lines, it might not be good for yours. There are plenty of reasons not to be among the crowds mobbing stores at midnight on Thanksgiving or early the next morning, including the temptation to overspend, the fact that many of the "deals" are on second-tier products and of course the whole getting-crushed-by-crowds issue.

But if you do join in the frenzied ritual, set a few sensible rules for yourself. First, come up with a budget and stick to it. Make a list of specific items you're looking for and don't stray from those. Retailers use their "door buster" specials as loss leaders in the expectation that they'll make money on your other purchases. And don't assume that low price is the equivalent of good value. Often, you get what you pay for.

Use the Internet to your advantage. Check out this Black Friday Twitter feed. In the calm of your own home, check the websites of stores before you go and decide what items you'll be gunning for once you're inside. Check to see if you can make the purchase online and avoid the craziness altogether. Below, we've compiled a few examples of deals from big retailers, and we've included links to their websites to help you make your list.


Deals available on Friday only:


Deals available starting Thursday:

  • Canon T3 body, lens, memory card and camera bag: $499 (regularly $749)
  • Nook Simple Touch: $49 (regularly $99)
  • 4 GB Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle: $199.99 (regularly $249)


Deals available starting midnight Thursday:

  • 50 percent off all toys
  • 60 percent off some lines of kids' clothes
  • Discovery Kids Digital Camera: $19.99 (regularly $69.99)

Toys R Us

Deals available starting Friday:

  • Samsung Galaxy II 10-inch Tablet - $299.99
  • Barbie or Grey Escalade Ride-Ons: $269 ($150 off)
  • Fisher-Price Grand Dollhouse: $39.99 (regularly $79.99)


Deals running all week:

  • Canon PowerShot s100: $309 (MSRP: $429)
  • Select Acer and Gateway computers: Up to $240 off


Discounted prices start at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving:

  • iPad 2 and a $75 gift card: $399 (Note this is not the most current model)
  • Emerson 40 inch HD TV: $198
  • Sony PS3 Bundle: $199
  • Assorted DVDs for $1.96
  • Dyson DC33 vacuum: $299 (regularly $399)

J.C. Penney

Stores open at 6 a.m. Friday:

  • Some women's coats: $40
  • Women's boots: $25
  • Girls' sweaters: $10 to $12
  • Purses from Liz Claiborne and Nicole Miller: $15 to $20
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