It’s a post-Thanksgiving holiday many shoppers look forward to every year: Black Friday.
2021 will be different for shoppers, with many stores choosing not to open on Thanksgiving night. Not to mention, we’re still dealing with low inventory and shipping delays.
Josh Elledge, consumer expert and founder of SavingsAngel.com, said you don’t need to wait for Friday to get in on the deals.
“Your Black Friday shopping should start right now,” Elledge said. “This concept of Black Friday where everybody camps out for a week is gone, we don’t expect that to happen at all. Retailers don’t want that to happen.”
Elledge said many retailers are already offering Black Friday deals, and he recommends that you shop online. Here are three reasons why:
1. Current supply issues
Coupled with a boost in demand, supply issues brought on by the disruption of production and distribution of some products due to the pandemic will affect Black Friday, according to Elledge.
“It’s quite likely you might show up at a store expecting to find an item advertised as a Black Friday deal, and guess what? It ain’t there. As consumers, we’re just going to have to be patient,” Elledge said.
That means if you shop online, you’ll want to pay close attention to shipping dates. Deliveries may be delayed, so Elledge suggested you order gifts as early as possible.
2. Reduces impulsive buying
“For example, when you go into a store, particularly when there’s a mad rush of people all grabbing at DVD players. You don’t’ need a DVD player, but that fear of loss makes you want to participate,” Elledge said.
3. Easier to compare prices
“One more thing I’m going to tell you to look out for are temporarily inflated prices just so they can show you a great Black Friday deal. Find either a browser extension or app that tracks prices so you can make sure you’re getting a great bargain,” Elledge said.
Whether you’re shopping in-store or online this year, Elledge said a very important step to take before you make a purchase is to understand what the return policy is.
Price Comparison Apps and Websites:
- Camel Camel Camel - free Amazon price tracker
- ShopSavvy - price-tracking app that allows you to scan barcodes on items in-store and find the price that other retailers and online stores are charging for the same item
- Mycartsavings - price-tracking app that also allows you to set up alerts and notifications on price drops and discounts for items
- Flipp - price-comparison app that displays virtual flyers and customizes savings and deals specific to your area