(WSPA) – To many shoppers, the Black Friday buzz feels different this year, and with good reason, retailers are no longer cramming all those sales into one or two days.

Should you still wait until Black Friday or even hold off on some purchases until Cyber Monday and beyond?  

First, to stay on top of the best deals, including getting notifications right to your phone, check out my first installment of our 7NEWS Holiday Here To Here series: Hot Holiday Deals.

In this second installment of our 7NEWS Holiday Here to Help series, we looked into What to Buy and When.

Don’t wait, sales are here

For more than a decade, Erika Martin has been one of those holiday shoppers lined up outside her favorite retailer at 4 am.  

“We would map out, and just shop all day, literally from sun up to sun down,” Martin said with a laugh.

However, even she acknowledges this year there is not as much hype around the day after Thanksgiving.

In fact, if you want to snag the best deals, the message this year from price analysts at DealNews who keep track of the best discounts is don’t wait until Friday.  

“Thanksgiving is really pulling ahead in recent years to dominate like crazy,” Julie Ramhold, at DealNews, said.

Can past prices give us a clue?

In the past, Thanksgiving has been known for the best deals on beauty, headphones, tablets and TVs.

Black Friday has had the lowest prices on mobile phones, laptops, shoes video games and tools.

Cyber Monday has seen the best deals on major appliances, cameras, kitchenware and toys.

Now the lines are blurred. Even last year, Martin noticed a laptop sale she missed on Black Friday was offered on Cyber Monday with a slight variation.

“I actually got a bigger size for that same price so it was an even bigger deal,” Martin said.

Has Black Friday lost its lure? NO!

True, many retailers are expanding sales for the whole week. Best Buy kicked off its Black Friday Sales on Nov. 18.

“If you see a good price, especially if it’s last Black Friday’s price, there’s a good chance that’s as good as it’s going to get. So for shoppers who are kind of on the fence about when to shop, it’s a good thing to basically snap up these deals when you see them,” Ramhold explained.

There are also some retailers who are launching never-before-seen incentives to bring shoppers back in-store on November 24th.  

Kohl’s is giving peel-off game pieces to the first 200 shoppers when doors open at 5 a.m.

“Every piece is a winner. And there’s incredible, over 200 prizes including 20 lego packages worth $5,000,” John James, the manager of the Greenville Kohl’s, said.

JC Penny is giving in-store shoppers chances to win valuable coupons Friday; even a diamond.

Then there’s the local stores like Diddy’s Warehouse in Inman which will have hourly free giveaways.

“They’re going to get to actually come in the store and actually pick anything that they want in the store,” Scott Bishop, at Diddy’s Warehouse, said.

On top of that, the already discounted products they sell from big box surplus, including toys, bedding, homeware and furniture, will be marked down further.  

“Everything in the store is actually going to be 50% off retail,” according to Bishop.  

In 2022, 7NEWS told you about the annual Black Friday rock bottom sale at Unclaimed Furniture where they give 20% off to shoppers at 8 a.m., 15% off at 9 a.m. and 10% off the rest of the day.

When should you wait?

Holiday photo cards and photo albums at places like Shutterfly may offer slightly better deals on Cyber Monday.

You actually may want to wait to buy some toys until December, a category that usually goes on steeper discounts a little closer to Christmas. This does not apply to the toys that are hard to get.

The price-tracking firm Circana said toy sales revenue was down 8% earlier this month, so it could lead to bigger discounts closer to the holiday.  

Gift card deals also tend to be more generous in December.