Should you buy now or wait until Black Friday? These online tools may help

Consumer

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Between the pandemic and shipping delays, you might be wondering will Black Friday deals be as impressive this year?

In this 7NEWS Consumer Exclusive, we learned it depends who you ask. But one thing is for sure: This year, more so than ever, there’s a strategy to save on Black Friday deals.

Let’s start with the obvious. The uncertainly this holiday season is making some shoppers a little rattled.

“I think that’s what worries me, seeing a lot of empty shelving in a lot of stores,” said Tammy Briggs in Greenville.

For Briggs, the big question is whether Black Friday 2021 will be a ghost of Christmas past.

The manager of the Kohl’s in Greenville, John James, insists the deals will be every bit as good.

“I think there are tremendous prices throughout the entire season, but I think this is the holiday super bowl. It’s the kickoff and I think it’s the one that gets everything going, so it’s crazy to not want to be a part of that in my opinion,” said James.

Kohls, along with Walmart, Target and Best Buy, have already kicked off their Black Friday deals that last through Friday (in some cases longer).

But you still may want to refresh your favorite retailers website at 12:01 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. That’s when Kohls and others launch “super deals” online.

But how do you find the best price with all these multi-day deals? That’s where Briggs said technology comes in handy.

“I have an app on my cellphone called Flipp. It gives me all the latest advertisements and sales from different stores,” she said.

Briggs said Flipp does all the homework for you by digitally uploading the Black Friday flyers so you can search for something and compare Black Friday prices instantly at each retailer.

Another helpful tool is the website KrazyCouponLady.com. It highlights some of the hottest deals from people who have checked them out in store.

But the question remains. How do the discounts stack up with past years?

Julie Ramhold, a price analyst with DealNews.com, said with recent inflation, you should lower expectations.

“Unfortunately, with the early deals, we have seen some good ones. But we’re also seeing a significant lack of what we’re used to seeing for Black Friday,” Ramhold said.

And Ramhold added, she doesn’t think you should wait until Friday to shop since the main thing to avoid this year is that dreaded “out of stock” message.

Now, with all the recent talk of inflation, you might think we won’t see any great sales like we did last year. But Adobe Analytics said toys in particular will be on steeper discount at 15.9% compared to 7.5% in 2020.

Adobe said computers are also slightly cheaper compared to last year.

Still the company said most electronics, sporting goods and appliances will have much weaker discounts.

Of course, there are extra ways to save, like joining a loyalty program or download a retailer’s app to see sales early.

And while there may be no crystal ball on savings, at least online tools shore up something equally important.

“I mean it saves us a lot of time, especially me, cause I’m a mom and I’m always on the go,” said Briggs.

And that means more time to spend with your family this Thanksgiving weekend.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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