Black Friday deals: The best and the worst

The unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season isn't always what it seems.

It's the final countdown to Black Friday, and we all like to bag a bargain. But experts warn that the hot deals may not be as good as advertised.

The holiday shopping rush is here. Some devoted bargain hunters are already camped out at stores, and many are checking apps and ads and scouting out that amazing Black Friday deal.

“I know I will be out on Black Friday. I was just looking for a TV, to get a good deal on the TVs for Black Friday,” says Tampa Target shopper Targie Strickland.

Jennifer Burton, University of Tampa associate Marketing professor, says there are definitely deals on the nice list, such as vacuums, desks, play sets and workout equipment.

Research from WalletHub shows video games, appliances and furniture will get you the most bang for your buck by waiting until Black Friday. The worst deals? High-end apparel, accessories and jewelry.

“Jewelry is last with 0.4 percent,” said Burton.

Burton warns 17 percent of items will actually be more expensive on Black Friday than they currently are on Amazon.

She says some stores mark up prices, only to slash them for Black Friday shoppers.

“You've got to be savvy, you've got to do your research,” said Burton.

Burton suggests scouring store websites, signing up on their email lists and following them on social media. She also recommends using apps like Shop Savvy to compare prices, Flipp puts those print ads at your fingertips, and BlackFriday2016 combines the major deals.

“It takes some homework, and it takes some planning and going to fight those crowds,” she noted.

Burton believes it's best to split up the hunt between your friends and family or skip the chaos and surf from the couch.

“I’m going to be there on Friday, trying to get the best deals online, not fighting crowds,” she said.

“If you can get things on clearance, as opposed to waiting for Black Friday, I always get better deals,” said Tampa Target shopper Amanda Adriani.

It’s time to make the list and check it twice. “I hope I get a phone,” said 12-year-old Josh Chung.

Burton says being prepared also means knowing the quantity a store may sell of that hot item you want and checking if retailers will price match competitors.

Wallet Hub breaks down the best deals and stores with the deepest discounts.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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