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On Black Friday, how to cut through hype and save money

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By Herb Weisbaum

After weeks of leaked ads and early promotions, the most hyped shopping event, Black Friday, is almost here. Of course, Black Friday is no longer just one day; It is now an ongoing event that begins just after Halloween. Serious bargain owners have already done some early Black Friday shopping.

Great retailers, like Kohl, JCPenney, Costco, Target and Amazon, have already launched some of their Black Friday offers. More major retail chains will roll out offers and city busters on Wednesday.

“It’s really been Black November,” said Marshal Cohen, Head of Industry Advisor for the NPD Group. “Retailers realize that we have no more money just because they start their sales earlier, it’s about market shares and trying to capture the early dollar.”

Is this marketing phase combined with an apparently infinite number of sales during the year, which makes Black Friday unbelievable?

About half of the surveyed consumers in mid October by WalletHub said Black Friday is no longer the best deals of the year.

For its new report, 201

8’s Best Stores for Black Friday, WalletHub compared the regular price with the Black Friday award for a wide range of goods, including TVs, computers, home appliances, video games, clothes and jewelry. The result: 14 percent of the items “offered no savings” – had the same price or were more expensive compared to the prices before the black Friday.

That said, shopping experts who were contacted by NBC News were looking forward to seeing some great deals presented on Wednesday and Thursday on all types of goods.

Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org, considers Black Friday “Best Shopping Day of the Year”.

Angela Davis, who runs the website FrugalLivingNW, said she “loves black friday” because it’s not just about buying Christmas presents. “

” I work a lot with my personal clothes for winter during Black Friday week, “she said.” There are great deals on clothes, shoes and accessories – winter jackets and boots, lots of women’s clothes. Offers on small kitchen utensils are nuts over black friday, as well as crazy offerings on tools and large kitchen appliances. “

Do your homework

We love everyone to save money, and dealers work overtime to create excitement for their Sales.

” Do not get caught in hysteria, “said Dworsky.” Some circles are 60 or 70 pages long. Clearly, each of these things is not a good thing. “

To cut through the Black Friday Marketing Hype, you need to do the homework before shopping. Consumer Worlds” 10 Tips for Wearing a Bargain During Black Friday Week “include:

  • Read ads: Search scans of ad circular for dozens of big retailers at BFAds.net. Check out websites for your favorite stores for further “hidden” bargains and look for coupons listed on their social media. Black Friday Charts on gottadeal.com allow you to search offers on specific items via store or product and then sort by price.
  • Evaluate offers: Use a pricing tool like Google Shopping and CamelCamelCamel to distinguish the good sales from Ho-hum.
  • Investigate the product: “Low price of a miserable product is not a bargain,” assures Dworsky. Read reviews on online stores, but if it’s a significant purchase, such as a TV, computer or home appliance, check for pr ofional reviews from trusted websites, such as Consumer Reports, Wirecutter, or PCMag.com.

“Much of the bybuster deals we look at electronic products may not really be the products you want, so it’s a good idea to check the specifications,” said Jim Wilcox, senior electronic editor at Consumer Reports, to NBC News. 19659007] Discounted computers may have slower processors or less storage. Some bybuster TVs are made especially for Black Friday. These so-called “derivatives” have unique model numbers, so finding reviews is impossible.

“These derivative models come out right away before Black Friday, so you do not know how to perform, “Wilcox said.” This is especially true of secondary and tertiary brands where you can see low prices, but do not know how good they really are. “

TIP: The best prices The best TVs are usually in weeks leading to Super Bowl and again at the end of February and March (when stores want to clear out last year’s models), according to Consumer Reports. [19659016] Do you really need to go to the stores?

Too many shopping for Thanksgiving dinner or camping to meet the shops early Black Friday morning is a tradition they would not miss. Dealers hope that their city busters will get you in the store, where you will be tempted to buy more expensive items.

Note: Doorbuster offers on large electronic items are often “limited quantities” in most stores, so if you do not camp out overnight and are at the front of the line when the doors open, you will miss you. And usually there are no rain checks for these offers.

While some bybuster deals are only available in the store, most things you want online online, say shopping experts, as retailers are trying to build their online business.

“I fully support the people doing it for fun, but the money you really can save is not worth the trouble and trying to get the deal,” said Frugal Living NWs Davis.

Frank Behring, who handles Black Friday sales comparisons for gottadeal.com, said he noticed fewer stores in the store.

“Everything goes online now, so there’s what you can call online bybusters,” told Behring for NBC News. “You must be online at a certain time. And it’s not just Thanksgiving or Black Friday, some of these deals went live on monday.”

Many of these online offers are available for a limited time, sometimes for just four or five hours.

If you really want a specific computer or TV model, do not wait too long. The amounts on any of these online doors are limited, and the seller may stop. E-commerce sites sometimes interrupt final orders when they expire.

“It happened a lot last year,” said Behring. “When they understand they do not have enough delivery, they send out an email saying that your order has been interrupted, and then the door is no longer available.”

If you do not have an agreement on Black Friday, especially on an electronic product, check again on Cyber ​​Monday. Many of the deals on Cyber ​​Monday are similar to those on Black Friday, told NBC News shopping experts.

Herb Weisbaum is The ConsumerMan. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or visit ConsumerMan’s website.

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