YOUR MONEY: Consumers will see Black Friday deals earlier this year

YOUR MONEY: Consumers will see Black Friday deals earlier this year

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The traditional concept of Black Friday shopping is going out the window.

Due to the pandemic, shopping in packed stores just hours after eating Thanksgiving dinner will be a thing of the past.

Retailers are well aware of that so they will be offering deals all throughout the month.

Kyle James is the founder of the money-saving blog Rather-Be-Shopping.com.

He has done the research to look for the best deals and explained when to take advantage of them.

“A lot of the deals are pretty good starting as early as November 4th," James said. "That’s when Walmart rolls out their first online Black Friday deals. They’ll do it every Wednesday until Black Friday and then they’ll do in-store deals every Saturday until Black Friday and they will release new deals. Basically they’re taking all of their Black Friday deals and they’re extending them for the whole month. So it’s the same products and you can get the same products online that you can get in the store so it’s the same savings and so it’s really imperative that you don’t really need to stand in line anymore.”

Target, Walmart and Best Buy are offering Black Friday deals early on in the month so consumers can already browse the ads for them. That’s why James recommends shopping early.

“If you find a good deal at a good price you might want to snatch it up as quick as you can because you could score some really good last minute deals. The problem this year is that there’s going to be some shortages in certain products because of the pandemic and the post office, UPS, they’re going to be absolutely overwhelmed the last 10 days before Christmas because so many people are going to be shopping online so don’t wait,” he said.

If you buy early hang on to your receipts. Some stores are offering price matching so if you purchased an item in early November and you see a better price for that same product during Thanksgiving weekend some retailers will price match what you bought and give you that money back.

DealNews created a chart listing out price matching policies for popular retailers. Just to be on the safe side you can always call the retailer you purchased the item from to see if your local store will honor the corporate policy.

If you want to make sure you’re getting the best price before buying an item on Amazon Kyle James recommends using the website CamelCamelCamel.com.

“Funny name, great site," said James. “Let’s say you want to buy something from Amazon like a new TV. You can put the TV into camelcamelcamel.com. Type it in and it will give you the pricing history of that TV so you’ll know if it’s the cheapest that it will probably get or Amazon is really famous for fluctuating the prices so you can set up an alert and they’ll email you when the price drops so you can go in and buy it at the lowest price. That’s a really good tool.”

James also mentioned the “Shop Savvy” app.

“You can scan the bar code of any product and it will pull back all of these other retailers that sell it. You can make sure you’re paying the cheapest price. If you don’t have the item in front of you you don’t have to scan the bar code. You can just type in and do a search for the product and they will tell you if it’s cheaper online or cheaper in your local store across town,” he explained.

Since consumers will do a lot of online shopping this holiday season James recommends doing an internet search for any kind of coupon before checking out.

“If you can’t find a coupon for a store I love the idea of actually starting a live chat session with the store," he said. “Let’s say you’re actually on the Lands' End website and you’re about to pay full price and you can’t find a coupon anywhere. Start a live chat and say ‘Hey, I’m about to complete my order. Do you have a free shipping or a 15 or 20 percent off coupon?’ In many cases they know if you have items in your cart and you’re ready to complete the purchases. In many cases these live chat operators have coupons that they will give you that will save you money or get you free shipping.”

Kyle James wrote a blog post sharing these deals and all of the ways Black Friday will be different this year. You can read that HERE.

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