‘Black Friday is here’: Holiday sales are already on, with record-breaking deals

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Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale may be over, but the discounts have only just begun.

“Black Friday is here,” said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at DealNews.com, noting that sales that traditionally rolled out on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day are starting earlier this year.

In addition to Amazon, big-name retailers like Target, Walmart and Best Buy are also getting a jump on the holiday shopping season with discounts on all types of gifts.

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With year-end sales starting earlier, retailers are hoping to lure shoppers with promotions well before the traditional buying season, as consumers become increasingly concerned about higher prices.

Contrary to shoppers’ inflation-era fears, discounts this year are actually expected to hit record highs for categories such as electronics, toys and computers, according to Adobe’s online-shopping forecast.

Excess inventory is playing a role in the price cuts, said Deborah Weinswig, founder and CEO of Coresight Research. “There is a glut of inventory and it underscores the widespread expectation of a highly promotional fourth quarter,” she said.

Shoppers should look for retailers to experiment with pricing strategies, as well, Weinswig predicted, including more discount codes and bundled offers.

How to get the best price on holiday gifts

To maximize your savings, experts advise that you should start price tracking now. 

Ramhold recommends creating a holiday list and then using a price-tracking browser extension such as Camelcamelcamel or Keepa to keep an eye on price changes and get price-drop alerts for the items you want.

“Expect to see 50% to 60% off, and that may jump to 70% off on Black Friday,” she said.

In addition, some retailers like Target offer a price-match guarantee, which means any purchases made now could qualify for a price adjustment if the price drops any lower.

For consumers, “there are a lot of perks to shopping early this year and one of them is price matching,” Ramhold said.

“If you can get a leg up, you can save yourself some time and stress and some cash while you are at it.”

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