Experts share shopping advice on how you can save this Black Friday

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — We’re just one week away from Black Friday, but some major retailers have already been advertising early deals ahead of the holiday. Leaving many wondering, does Black Friday still even exist?

Consumer Reports says Black Friday does still exist, but not in the form that a lot of us are used to.

“It would all be about going to the store, waiting in lines early in the morning and getting those door buster deals. Its starting earlier, we started seeing deals as early as October,” says Jim Willcox, Senior Tech Editor, Consumer Reports.

This leaves many shoppers wondering, are they really getting the best deals on Black Friday?

“There’s a real mix of what you can get during Black Friday. Consumer Reports doesn’t just test products, we also track prices and our analysts have told us that November is actually the best time to buy a lot of products,” says Willcox.

However, experts say there are a lot of “so-called deals” masquerading as fantastic bargains.

“A lot of times they’re from lesser-known or brands you haven’t heard of and we try and buy some of these products. We bring them into our labs and we find that they’re not particularly great products and the consumers would’ve been better served if they had just spent a little bit more money for another item,” says Wilcox.

Before you swipe your credit card, experts say there are some things you can do to find the best deals and not overspend.

“Consumerreports.org tracks prices across various retailers. There’s a lot of black Friday websites, there are shopping apps that you can use when you’re in the store to compare prices. If you shop regularly at one retailer, we suggest that you download their app, follow them on social media because sometimes you’ll get special deals or deal alerts that aren’t available to the general consumer,” says Wilcox.

Experts also say if you want to skip going to the mall or the store this Black Friday, you can still get deals online.

“There’s a lot more price parity between the in-store sales and the online sales. More retailers are matching their online sales and with the deals you can get in stores,” says Wilcox.

Wilcox added, “You really need to decide what it is that you want to buy. Its very easy to get caught up in the excitement of Black Friday, especially if you go into stores. There’s really not as much reason to be in a store anymore. But some people like the social experience of doing it. But its always a good idea to keep a list of the items you really want to get and stick to it, and if you have a budget stick to that as well. Like I said, sometimes you get caught up in the excitement and you’ll buy stuff that you don’t really want.”

Experts also say the shopping period this year is going to be a little bit more challenging.

“We’re seeing shortages in some products. Electronics, toys, major appliances and so our advice is to shop as early as you can. If you see a deal you should jump on it, because there’s no guarantee that its going to be available later. Also it could help avoid some shipping delays because we’re hearing that shipping could be sort of caught up in the traffic issues we’ve been hearing about,” says Wilcox.

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