What to buy on Black Friday — and what to wait to buy later


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s become a post-holiday event — Black Friday shopping — and if you do it, you want to get the most out of your shopping spree without getting scammed or disappointed.

Merchants call it Black Friday, but it’s really more than just a day.

In reality, retailers start plugging deals well before the day after Thanksgiving and they’ll continue through the weekend and into Cyber Monday.

Some folks like to be there when the store doors first open but not all of this year’s Black Friday shopping will be in person.

Retail analysts say this year they’ll be record amounts of Black Friday shopping done online.

“We’re expecting $143.7 billion in holiday spending,” said Ryan Fleisch of Adobe Analytics.

Finding the best online deals depends on when you shop, says Fleisch.

“Black Friday, that’s going to be your best day for things like appliances,” he said.

But he warns you should, “wait until December 1 if you’re buying any toys, 32 percent discounts is what we’re expecting.”

Despite the growing online presence, they’ll also be plenty of us handpicking our gifts in the stores and looking for deals — but you need to be a careful shopper.

“Sometimes there are item discounts that don’t apply to Black Friday,” says Mallory Wojciechowski of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina. “Make sure you’re aware of what the price is going to be so you’re not unpleasantly surprised when you arrive and the discount isn’t what you thought.”

It’s easy to get enticed by deals and you get carried away in the shopping experience only realize after the fact you’ve spent more money than you wanted to — so make a budget.

Start by reviewing your 2018 holiday bills, also create a 2019 list of items you want and stick to it. It’s also important to also include the cost of any holiday entertaining you’ll do in your budget.

A good percentage of gifts purchased end up back in the store as returns and Black Friday purchases may be covered differently.

“Know their return policy,” said Wojciechowski. “If you have an issue and need to return it make sure you are aware of the return policy because it may be different for Black Friday items.

If you are looking for good buys on electronics, you can get much better deals if you buy last year’s models because merchants want to move out this year’s versions to make space for the newest gadgets.

There are also six fewer shopping days this holiday season compared to last year so retail analysts say you can expect deeper discounts and deals right up until Christmas. That will happen as merchants push to make their yearly profits in the shorter holiday selling season, analysts say.

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