Should you buy now or wait for Black Friday? These online tools can help

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

In this consumer exclusive from 7NEWS, we learned that it depends on who you ask. But one thing is certain: this year, more than ever, there is a strategy to save on Black Friday deals.

Let’s start with the obvious. The uncertainty of this holiday season is making some shoppers a bit jittery.

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

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

Kohl’s manager in Greenville, John James, insists the deals will be just as good.

“I think there are huge prizes throughout the season, but I think it’s the super bowl of the holidays. It’s the kick-off and I think it’s the one that kicks it all off, so it’s crazy not wanting to be a part of it in my opinion,” James said.

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

But you might still want to refresh your favorite retailer’s website at 12:01 a.m. on 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 offers? This is where Briggs said the technology helps.

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

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

Another useful tool is the KrazyCouponLady.com website. It highlights some of the best deals from people who have viewed them in store.

But the question remains. How do discounts compare to previous years?

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

“Unfortunately, with the early transactions, we’ve 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 that she doesn’t think you should wait until Friday to shop because the main thing to avoid this year is that dreaded “out of stock” message.

Now, with all the recent inflation talk, you might think we won’t see big selloffs like we did last year. But Adobe Analytics said toys in particular will get a bigger discount at 15.9% from 7.5% in 2020.

Adobe said computers were also slightly cheaper than last year.

Still, the company said most electronics, sporting goods, and home appliances would get much lower discounts.

Of course, there are other ways to save, like joining a loyalty program or downloading a retailer’s app to see sales earlier.

And while there’s no crystal ball about savings, at least online tools reinforce something so important.

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

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

Melvin G. Rodriguez