Plan ahead if you wan to snag those Black Friday doorbusters

Plan ahead if you wan to snag those Black Friday doorbusters
In this Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, file photo, shoppers stand in line outside a Best Buy department store before the store's opening at midnight.

Black Friday used to be so easy. It was the day after Thanksgiving. Now, it starts on Thursday, or sooner.

Some stores now stagger their door-buster deals, with different items going on sale on different days and at different times.  For example, at Wal-Mart it’s 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m. on Friday.

"You've got to read the ads carefully or you could wind up going to the store either too early or too late for the thing you want," said Edgar Dworsky, who runs the website ConsumerWorld.org.

Doorbusters are limited quantity, so you may want to map out your Black Friday shopping trip. You can’t waste any time once you’re in the store and the product you want may not be where you expect it.

At my local Target store, the big screen TV doorbuster will be in the grocery section. Toasters are in the furniture department. I'm not kidding.

Target has interactive store maps on its website to show you all this. Wal-Mart will have its store maps up next week.

If a retailer doesn’t have a map, Dworsky suggests that you go to the store on Wednesday to see for yourself.

More Info: Herb's Black Friday 2013 Survival Guide