SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – I find Black Friday and Cyber Monday to be crass plays on retail instincts and getting us to buy things based on price, not need. But having said that, here are some tips on how to handle the twin days of retail madness.

Check out CNET’s Top 16 Black Friday tech deals, part of our Holiday Gift Guide for 2012.

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Have a shopping list of what you wanted to buy BEFORE they pitched you a price. Its OK to adjust your list based on a great deal, but make sure that isn’t the only reason you’re doing it. A pre-planned list of what you really want to give will help.

If there are door busters or limited quantity items that will be coming up at an e-tailer, pre-register as a customer at their site with your credit card info, etc. The time it takes to enter that on Black Friday can make the difference between getting the item or just a “sold out” icon.

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Facebook Like and Twitter Follow retailers for advanced word on their deals, and subscribe to alerts from the various Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal sites and mobile apps that specialize in hunting down the deals before they go live. You can Unlike and Unfollow them later.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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