For the thankful few, Thanksgiving is exactly as its name suggests. It’s time to get together with friends and family over good food to give thanks for what they have. For the rest of us, the Thanksgiving tradition has nothing to do with the turkey and pumpkin pie served at dinner (though those are a welcome additions to any plate!)and everything to do with the massive sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you only intend to give thanks for what you’re about to buy, then you need to make sure you’re ready for two of the biggest shopping days of the year. Get your head in the game by reviewing these three simple rules, and you’ll come out as a super saver this November.

1. Always follow Rule 37

As a shopper going down the aisles or scrolling through pages, you’ll see big discounts on everything from iPhone Xs and Apple Watches to Amazon Echoes and Google Homes. Any kind of markdown on these major devices can convince you to drop your cash, and the throngs of people fighting over stock — or the online messages of limited numbers — add to the pressure. There’s hardly any time to step back and really think if these sales are worth it.

Last year, the folks at Wallet Hub did everyone a favor. While everyone else fought over merchandise, they took the time to analyze the average Black Friday sale to see when a discount is truly worth buying and when it’s nothing more than a placating gesture.

Their work showed the best deals offer at least 37 percent off on any given item. If you can manage to figure out this calculation in your head, you’ll be able to ignore misleading deals and home in on sales that are actually worth your time.

Like most rules, Rule 37 has some exceptions. They include items that rarely go on sale, like the latest handsets released this fall. It’s unlikely a phone like the iPhone XS Max would see such a heavy discount, so it would still be worth snagging even if it doesn’t follow the rule.

2. Enter your name into contests

While most shoppers have their eyes on fliers and homepage banners when looking for the biggest drop in prices, only the savviest customers know that a sale isn’t the only way to get what they want this November. Nestled in amongst discounts and slashed prices are giveaways and contests. Some promotions act solely as door crashers offering small fry prizes to get you into the building. Others go the full mile to offer prime gifts.

This time last year, people shopping for iPhone skins from dbrand would have received a notification for their Black Friday giveaway. If they spent enough cash on iPhone skins, they could enter to win the iPhone X, Apple’s darling of 2017. Ten lucky people won the most expensive handset at the time for the equivalent of an inexpensive iPhone skin — making it a considerable prize for not a lot of time, money, or effort.

This year, it’s up to you to sniff out the best Black Friday promotion — wherever it may be. In the meantime, dbrand has tons of iPhone skins for every model, including the latest XS, XS Max, and XR handsets. Whether you manage to win 2018’s version of the most expensive smartphone in a giveaway, you’ll at least always know where to find the best decals for iPhones. Until then, brush up on your skill testing questions, so you can enter as many contests as possible.

3. Know your best bet for a deal

There are so many retailers that participate in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday festivities that it would be easier to list the stores that don’t. There might not even be enough names to make a list at all, for how popular the Thanksgiving weekend is for sales.

Though nearly every store will offer something by way of a deal, not all of them will consistently offer the best sales. It’s up to you to figure out which stores are more likely to offer the biggest discounts that adhere to Rule 37. While the exact deals for 2018 have yet to be released, you can rely on past data to help you make your choice. You know from past experience that Amazon will apply huge discounts to their own products (like the Echo) and other home accessories. And, in an attempt to match Amazon online, Walmart will also heavily discount their tech and appliances. You can easily do Walmart shopping online to buy tech and appliances. 

There’s no doubt tech is often the most expensive item on anyone’s list. Whether it’s a new phone, a smart home gadget, or a 4K TV, you’re going to spend a lot to get them into your home. Thanksgiving is an opportunity to sneak these items in at a fraction of their original prices — but only if you know how to shop for sales properly. Be wise to the rules of the weekend, and you’ll be able to snag the best deals with minimal effort. Do your research early and put your name into contests — these tips could help you find exactly what you need this year for less.

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