By the end of this week, legions of turkey-stuffed shoppers will engage in their favorite Â annual post-Thanksgiving event, Black Friday. So, just how many people participate in this holiday shopping ritual? According to the consumer site WalletHub, the National Retail Federation forecasts total sales to reach $655.8 billion, an increase from nearly $631 billion in 2015. The Washington Post reported 61.7% of consumers, or 151 million people, bought products either online or in-person last year, and 73% of those who shopped over that long weekend made in-store purchases on Black Friday.
BLACK ENTERPRISE has received a great deal of information from consumer finance experts and websites, to help individuals spot bargains and engage in smart holiday shopping.
In fact, WalletHub released a series of holiday reports that may prove invaluable to consumers like you:
- In its report titled 2016 Best Stores for Black Friday, Macy’s, Stage, and JCPenney were at the top of the list for offering an average discount of roughly 62.8%.
- Based on the 2016 Black Friday Freshness report, one in 10 bargains have actually been recycled from the previous year.
- More than 17% of items will actually be more expensive on Black Friday than currently on Amazon.com, according to this report.
- Based on current prices, Wallethub found video game software offers the greatest value, versus jewelry, which presents consumer among the most rotten deals.
- In its report on 2016’s Best Gift Cards, WalletHub cites that Target, Netflix, and Walmart are leading the pack.
- In another study, Wallethub found “retailers with the sneakiest financing deals.” It discovered many that offer 0% financing, and then apply deferred interest, which can potentially boost the cost of holiday purchases as much as 27.5 times greater than anticipated.
Our editors also received advice for Black Friday shoppers from smart shopping expert Erin Warren, via email. Warren is a contributor to the cash back shopping site, Splender. Here are a few of her tips:
- Compare Prices:Â Remember that the “saleâ€ price doesn’t always represent the “bestâ€ price. Some retailers offer a sale price on a given product for a limited time, while others discount the same item every day. Warren suggests using price comparison tools and websites like PriceBlink,Â PriceGrabber, andÂ InvisibleHand as well as the shopping appÂ Bakodo, which enables you to scan the barcode of an item and make cost comparisons with brick-and-mortar and online retailers.
- Load Up on Coupons: In addition to coupons from local newspapers, check emails for coupon codes and seek out online resources as well. Remember that a number of retail websites have printable product coupons and promo codes for discounts, and free shipping when you make online transactions. Make sure you register for daily bargain alerts from sources, ranging from Facebook to manufacturer sites.
- Take Advantage of Digital Store Sale Circulars: In Warren’s email, she shared that a mobile app, like Flipp, can digitize circular ads from hundreds of retailers and enable you to spot the best deals. The benefit of this digital format is that its accessible anywhere via smartphone. You canÂ also make online purchases, and combine it with rewards programs or cash back offers from shopping sites.
- Â Find Value Through Cash Back Sites: Hundreds of popular and well known stores allow you to receive money back, simply by making your online purchases through these sites. You’ll typically gain between 1% to 5% Â of your dollars back on each purchase. In fact, some retailers run promotions that can bump that figure as high as 15%. Â If you buy products from such sites—and use coupons, gain free shipping, and apply points from credit card loyalty programs—most assuredly, you will gain the gift of steeply reduced prices.