Black Friday, the annual shopping event after Thanksgiving, can be overwhelming due to the sheer amount of deals on offer from retailers around the world.

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This is probably why many consumers choose to start (or finish) their Christmas shopping ahead of the major sales event, with many companies starting Black Friday sales before the actual date.

talking to newsweek, Katherine Cullen, senior director of Industry and Consumer Insights at the National Retail Federation (NRF), said: “This year, consumers continue their earlier recent trend for holiday shopping, with 61 percent having already checked their items. Has started. Lists as of early November.”

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According to A survey by NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics Released on November 17, 2021, nearly two million more people are expected to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber ​​Monday than last year.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement: “We look forward to another record-breaking holiday season this year and Thanksgiving weekend will play a major role as always.”

As the shopping schedule gets underway, here are some shopping tips to make the most of Black Friday deals and offers.

1. Do Your Research

Before going into the Black Friday buying frenzy, it is important to do some homework on the different prices offered by different brands.

talking to newsweek, host of Jean Chatzky his money Podcast who has been the financial editor of NBC Today Show for 25 Years, advised: “Do your research before heading to stores or websites. The Internet is your best friend here because it can help you find the special items you’re looking for at the lowest possible prices.” Huh.”

NRF’s Cullen said consumers should monitor retailers’ websites as well as mobile apps for the latest information, as “many retailers offer tools that specify when a particular item is running low.” And whether it’s in stock locally or online.”

2. Is this really a deal?

While a fixed price slash might seem like a steal at first glance, the discount may actually be no different (if it varies at all) from the company’s usual offering.

Chatzky, the best-selling author of several financial books, said: “Some sales aren’t really sales. For example, there are stores that regularly offer 25 percent off everything on ‘Friends and Family’ days. When they do the same for the holidays, it’s no big deal.

“In fact, I would argue that when you know a particular retailer regularly has 25 percent off, you can just wait to buy,” she said.

3. Review Price History

Knowing what a product’s pre-Black Friday price is is extremely helpful in determining whether the discount is significant.

There are plugin tools available that can help you do this, such as Camelizer Chrome Extension The CamelCamelCamel website, called Chatzky, can be used to help set up price alerts.

The Camelizer tool can show users a graph charting the price of a product on Amazon over time.

Keepa is another Chrome extension Which can track the price history of an item on Amazon.

For both extensions, users can set price clocks to notify them of price drops on certain products on their wish list.

4. …and product quality

Consumers should be aware that you may be sacrificing quality in exchange for discounts on some items offered during Black Friday sales. For example, some vendors may offer a lower price for an older model of a product or possibly a previously used device.

Chatzky explains: “Some companies produce merchandise specifically for Black Friday sales—and as such—goods produced for outlet malls—may not be of the same quality or have the same characteristics as goods produced regularly. This is especially true for electronics that are sold as Black Friday doorbusters.”

5. Bag A Price Match

Doing your pre-Black Friday research to see which brands are offering which ones puts you in the best place for a price match.

Most retailers offer some version of a “price match guarantee” policy. Customers can usually request a price match at the time of purchase or within a certain time period after purchase, depending on company policy.

Consumers should keep in mind that price matching policies usually come with a number of terms and conditions (including exclusions for certain sales events, which may or may not include Black Friday). So be sure to read the fine print before making your case with any company.

6. Scope of other allowances

NRF’s Cullen notes that those looking for more ways to save should keep an eye out for additional benefits like gift cards or extra discounts for curbside pickup orders.

Chatzky said: “Browser plugins like Honey will help you search the web for coupons that you can apply, so you don’t have to do it yourself.”

If a gift item you’ve been eyeing isn’t in stock, you should definitely check it out later. But if you’re having trouble securing it later, customers should consider gift cards.

“Consumers will spend an estimated $28 billion on gift cards this holiday season and they can be a last-minute gift or solution when an item goes out of stock,” Cullen said.

7. Add items to your basket the day before

If you’re shopping online, saving items in your checkout basket before Black Friday can help you avoid inadvertently buying unwanted items that day, while absentmindedly browsing among a bunch of websites.

8. Create a Wish List or Set a Budget

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of ​​discounts on Black Friday and leave a bigger dent in your wallet than you expected.

Creating a wish list or budget before you start shopping is a great way to limit your purchases and avoid overspending.

9. Check Warranty and Return Policies

Before purchasing any product, be sure to check your item’s warranty as well as any “money back guarantee” or other return policies.

Some items may be non-refundable on Black Friday or come with other special terms and conditions. Be sure to check company policies before making your final purchase.