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It’s time to get your game plan set for pre-Black Friday holiday shopping!
Shopping before Black Friday this year looks a little different than most years amid inflation. Expenses are at all-time highs and shoppers want to make sure they’re getting affordable gifts for everyone on their lists.
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Savvy shoppers can snag the best deals by following these pre-Black Friday shopping do’s and don’ts.
We may be a few weeks from Black Friday still, but many retailers are already advertising holiday sales on everything from clothes and toys to electronics. Don’t feel as though you need to wait until Thanksgiving is almost here. Shoppers can start looking for Black Friday-worthy deals now.
The one caveat to pay attention to as you start window shopping is the limited number of Black Friday deals. To be clear, Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, said retailers are limited in the overall number of Black Friday deals, not that the deals themselves have a limit to them. This is something we often see for doorbusters.
Keep in mind while retailers will have “some” excellent deals right now, what you see isn’t the full Black Friday lineup. If some of the items you’re hoping will go on sale aren’t discounted yet, Ramhold said don’t get discouraged. There’s still time left in Black Friday season.
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Is another retailer offering a better deal than the place you usually shop at? Take a look and see.
Ramhold also recommends looking at stores you might not consider shopping at otherwise. “You may be surprised at the kinds of deals you can find at stores you wouldn’t think about shopping for Black Friday.”
You may be tempted to buy an item you don’t need, or isn’t on the wish list for anyone in your life, because the retailer has labeled it as a Black Friday deal. Don’t be fooled by this clever messaging. Stick to your existing list and exercise caution about the “best” deals.
“Unless the store has a price guarantee, you may want to be cautious about purchasing early Black Friday deals unless you can tell from your own research the deal is truly spectacular and not just a sales ploy,” said Ramhold.
Here’s the inside scoop about price matching, according to Ramhold. Most retailers will suspend price matching during the Black Friday season. Sometimes this is only Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, but others will suspend it for the entire two weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the week preceding and the week after).
If you’re doing your holiday shopping early, Ramhold said there’s a chance you can still take advantage of price matching. Before you buy something, be sure to investigate if it’s cheaper elsewhere and see if you can get the price matched.
As you search for deals and the stores with the best sales, do your homework with each respective retailer’s return policies.
This way, Ramhold said if you do purchase now and then find the item cheaper elsewhere, you’ll know if you can return the first purchase to buy it for the cheaper price at the other store.
This may take some legwork, as you will need to check into the historical pricing of a deal to see if it has been better. But it’s worth it because you’ll know if it’s at its best price now or if it’s likely to drop further in the coming weeks.
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