Everything You Want to Know About Black Friday Shopping

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shoppers in a mall during the holidays
There’s a method behind the madness known as the “Black Friday Creep.”
Retailers are offering deals earlier and earlier each holiday season to encourage consumers to shop all month long. Still, Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain two of the most anticipated shopping days of the year.
The day after Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest shopping day of 2018, by far, according to an annual survey by ShopperTrak. Nearly one-third of holiday shoppers say they’ll do most of their shopping on Black Friday, while 22 percent say they’ll do most of their shopping on Cyber Monday, according to Blackfriday.com.
“With Americans expected to spend an average of $1,250 each this holiday season, holiday deals have started earlier this year and inventory could run out – particularly for toys,” said Dr. Dan Rajaratnam, a clinical professor of marketing in the Naveen Jindal School of Management. “So, do your research with apps and shop early. Remember to check return policies before buying in case you find a better deal later.”
Rajaratnam, who teaches marketing research, retailing and marketing management, and researches marketing strategy, answers some of your most-asked Black Friday questions:
What are the most popular items?
Shopping interests for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are similar. Most will be looking for clothing, technology and toys. Look for deals on smart-home gadgets, TVs, tablets, smart phones and watches, and video game consoles.
How should I prepare?
Prepare by studying ads in advance, making a list and deciding on a budget. Don’t forget to check for deals on social media. Then, start shopping early. Black Friday is no longer one day of sales; check out deals leading up to Nov. 23.
How do I know if I’m getting a good deal?
Just because the price is slashed, it doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. Do your research online and compare prices. Don’t forget to read the fine print and any comments or reviews.
With the closure of Toys R Us, where should I buy toys?
Walmart, Amazon and Target are the biggest players in the toy game this year. Historically, they have offered up to 50 percent off select toys. Watch for an expanded offering, too.

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