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Are You Shopping Today, White Plains?

Shoppers are expected to be out in force today looking for Black Friday deals.
Shoppers are expected to be out in force today looking for Black Friday deals. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

The turkey has been picked clean and the pie tins are empty. It’s time to dive into Black Friday madness!

Poll
What are you shopping for this Black Friday?
Final Results Voting Closed

What are you shopping for this Black Friday?

  • Electronics
    42%
  • Clothing
    28%
  • Shoes
    0%
  • Toys
    6%
  • Home Goods
    8%
  • Bath and Body Products
    3%
  • Entertainment (Books, Music, Movies)
    3%
  • Event Tickets
    11%

Citing the National Retail Federation, the personal finance website Wallethub.com said total retail sales this holiday season are expected to total about $655.8 billion. Much of that figure will come from Black Friday sales.

To help customers find the best bargains, Wallethub surveyed 8,000 deals from 35 of the largest retailers’ 2016 Black Friday ad scans and identified the stores with the largest advertised discounts.

According to the finance site, retailers Macy’s, Stage and JCPenney are offering some of the best Black Friday deals with average discounts of 63.4 percent , 62.8 percent and 62.8 percent, respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum are Costco, Amazon and Big Lots, which are offering discounts of 25.4 percent, 24.7 percent and 23.5 percent, respectively – the lowest average discounts of the stores included in Wallethub’s rankings.

By category, retailers seem to be targeting those shopping for toys, apparel and accessories, and computers and phones, according to Wallethub, which reports that the three categories combined account for nearly 57 percent of total discounts being offered this Black Friday.

With excitement surrounding Black Friday at a peak and some of the discounts seeming just too good to pass up, one of the most important issues facing any consumer is how not to overspend.

Nathaniel Hartmann, an assistant professor of Marketing at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa Shidler College of Business, offered Wallethub a few tips to help consumers stay disciplined this Black Friday.

First, Hartmann said, consumers should set an itemized Black Friday budget before browsing the advertisements and then stick to that budget. Consumers should clearly identify the person for whom each item is being purchased.

Second, Hartmann said is a simple rule: “If I wouldn’t buy it at the full price, I don’t need it even at the sale price.”

Third, the assistant professor recommended becoming familiar with tactics used by stores to encourage overspending. Such tactics, he told Wallethub, include placing time constraints on a sale item or placing a maximum purchase limit.

Finally, Hartmann said consumers should avoid becoming “too involved with getting a great deal ,” noting that the hormones released when people become too excited may “inhibit thoughtful decision making.”

Click here for additional shopping hints from other professionals and to see a full list of Wallethub's best and worst Black Friday retailers.

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