JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Black Friday is four days away, and it may seem early to talk about it, but if you want the best deals you may need to plan ahead.

With large crowds and people rushing around to get the deals they want, you may miss the hot items you're looking for.

Black Friday is an opportunity for you to buy big ticket items for a reduced sale price, but you have to make sure you're in the right place at the right time to take advantage.

Sylvia Denny is looking forward to saving money on Christmas gifts for her family. That's why she's at Walmart early to make sure she knows where the deals are.

"I have everything written down, like what I want to get and what I was looking at specifically, and where I want to go instead of seeing all the great deals and getting everything," Denny said. "I just want to stick to what I want."

She said browsing the deals before the big day will help her save money and time. And she's also not going into this alone.

Denny said one great way to shop on Black Friday is to use the buddy system.

"Because you can separate and then get what you need quicker and then get out," she said.

So once you have the deals, what about the return policy?

Many items can be returned for up to 90 days after the purchase. Without a receipt, shoppers can get cash back for any buys under $25 and merchandise credit for anything over $25.

Electronics normally have a shorter return time, but for the holidays they're extended.

"Anything that's purchased on Nov. 1 up until Christmas Eve, the limited return policy period won't start until Dec. 26," Walmart store manager Kenny Weeks said.

Walmart says if you're buying a gift, you can request a gift receipt right at the register to avoid hassle for the person who may return the gift.

Walmart says it ups the staff after the holidays to make sure there aren't long return lines.

"We have a customer service desk open, we also have to turn some of our regular everyday registers into customer service desks, so we might have six registers open just for returns only," Weeks said.

Similar stores have different policies.

Target shoppers have a 90-day window with a receipt and may return up to $70 of merchandise within one year without a receipt. After customers reach the limit, they may exchange purchases for items within the same department. All Black Friday returns will be refunded at the clearance price, but a 15-percent restocking fee is applied to some electronics.

For Kmart, an original receipt or email confirmation is required for all returns and exchanges. Returns and exchanges must be in the original packaging and contain all the original accessories. Refunds will be issued in the original method of payment, with the exception of purchases made by check, where refunds will be given as cash.