6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Shopping Tips for Black Friday
(ABC 6 News) – Remember the old days when Black Friday signaled the start of holiday shopping sales? Well, this year, it kicked off at the beginning of October!
But don’t worry, there are still plenty of good deals to be had as Consumer Reports points out some Black Friday shopping strategies.
The discounts being offered this holiday shopping season are expected to reach record highs! While there are plenty of sales going on right now, the best prices will still come around Cyber Week.
According to Consumer Reports shopping experts, when you shop, really does matter.
“Black Friday is still the best time to get a discount on a new TV. On Saturday, we expect to see the deepest discounts on laptops. Toys and apparel will be at their best prices on Sunday, and on Cyber Monday look for the biggest discounts on appliances and electronics,” says Consumer Reports’ Samantha Gordon.
But with all this shopping excitement, sales masquerading as fantastic bargains are not always as good as they look, so CR has three tips to make sure you get the best deals possible!
Tip number one: Skip the in-store sales and shop online.
“There may be a lot of great deals in stores, but it’s a lot easier to comparison shop
when you shop online. Plus, in recent years, we’ve seen retailers really start to offer
the same prices in stores as online, so you can shop wherever you’re most comfortable,” says Gordon.
Tip two: Let tech be your guide.
Even before black Friday, check out price comparison websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, Shopzilla and Consumer Reports so you can know if something’s actually a good deal.
And before you even step foot in a store, make sure you’ve downloaded a smartphone app that lets you scan barcodes or QR codes to compare prices, get discounts, and score coupons! CR recommends BuyVia, Shopkick, ShopSavvy, and Shopular.
Tip number three: Stay connected!
“Make sure you join stores’ loyalty programs, and follow your favorite retailers and brands on social media. This can give you access to exclusive coupon codes, early deals and other discounts,” says Gordon.
And while you’re online – share that Black Friday shopping intel with your friends, too!
And CR says to be wary of signing up for an interest-free in-store credit card hoping to double down on your savings.
They may be fine if you’re disciplined enough to pay off the balance before the promotional period ends, but if you don’t do that, you’ll get stuck paying interest on the full amount of the purchase, even if you’ve paid down a lot of the balance.