HOUSTON - While many stores closed for Thanksgiving Day this year, some are open and shoppers are out buying up bargains.
Black Friday could be a record-breaker in sales this year because demand is up even though inflation and supply chain slowdowns will make some gifts more expensive and harder to find.
Analysts say those factors also mean you may find the best deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, rather than closer to Christmas like we usually do.
"With supply chain issues it means getting the item you want last minute may be a challenge," said consumer savings expert Leslie Tayne.
Once you make your shopping list, experts say shop early. Check store circulars for their best deals. BlackFriday.com rounds up the major stores.
"You’ll still get the best deals actually on Friday, first of all, toys, games, gaming systems, electronics, kitchen gadgets, and TVs," said Dan Rocatto with Credible.com.
But keep your receipts. Many stores offer price matching this year.
"Don’t be shy. Ask retailers to price match, they will if you ask. If you find a lower price somewhere else, ask the retailer to price match it, you’ll probably get a good answer," said Rocatto.
Some credit cards are offering an extra 5% or 10% off on Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, so check your cards.
Shopping online? Download browser extensions, such as Honey, Retail Me Not, or Camel, Camel, Camel.
"It will track your items on Amazon for you and alert you by text when one goes down in price," said Rocatto.
You can also upload receipts to sites like Ibotta or Rakuten for cash-back offers.
And if you're worried a gift won't arrive in time, you can always buy a gift card.
"Some retailers are offering those gift cards for discounted, buy one get the second one at a discount," said Tayne.
Many stores open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. If you don't want to risk catching COVID, most stores still offer curbside pickup.