Not all Americans dug into turkey with their families on Thanksgiving. Some were out shopping, hitting sales ahead of the crowds expected Friday.
After a year of cautious spending and worry over an uncertain economy and high unemployment, more stores this year extended hours into Thanksgiving Day, a day when most are traditionally closed.
Many grumble about commercialism creeping into the holiday. But
signs show some shoppers took the bait.
While crowds were expected to be relatively light compared to the weekend ahead, the extended hours drew in overseas visitors, those who have to work on Friday and some just looking for a good deal.
Sears, Kmart and some Sports Authority, Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores were among those open Thursday.
Holiday Money Mistakes
Experts say Black Friday shoppers should remember their budgets before they head out the door with their credit cards and holiday lists. Consumers Reports say shoppers can end up taking a year to pay for all the spending. It says more than 13 million people are still paying off last year's holiday debts.
Here are some things to remember: compare prices, keep receipts, don't fall for extended warranties, look for free shipping offers and watch out for identity theft scams.
The pros also warn that while debit cards won't saddle you with future payments, they don't offer the purchase protections that credit cards do on big items.
There's good news on the gift card front. This is the first holiday season in which any gift card purchased can't expire for at least five years.
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