One of the largest shopping periods of the year is approaching.
The question is: Will you find the best Black Friday deals online on Thanksgiving night, or should you test your luck in store on Friday morning?
Olivia Anderson, like a lot of shoppers these days, plans to do her Black Friday shopping from home.
"I think it's better to go online because you can easily see all the prices and then you can easily see all the sales that are going on," said Anderson.
But Tanya Laginas says she still likes the in-store experience.
"Just to see what everybody's going after, just to be a part of the excitement," she said.
The problem is that Black Friday is so spread out this year, if you find what looks like a great deal in store, you still want to check the online price before you buy.
Where are the best deals?
You can no longer shop in-store on Thanksgiving night. Now, most stores don't open until 5 or 6 a.m. on Friday morning.
But, two experts we talked to said most of the deals are identical.
Julie Ramhold of DealNews.com said "the only real incentive to shop in-store is just to get your items sooner," and not have to wait for delivery.
Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge agrees, saying the prices will be the same, although you might have a greater selection online.
"Because of space restrictions within a brick-and-mortar store," she said, "retailers can't show literally everything they have, but they can show that merchandise online."
Bodge says the best way to guarantee a deal is to do your research in advance. By Thanksgiving morning, you should be able to see all the sales offered over the next 48 hours.
Meantime, for more expensive items, like electronics, Ramhold says think outside the box, such as shopping at office supply stores, which sometimes have lower prices.
"It's not like Staples would jump to mind if you're thinking, 'Hey, I need the latest Echo device,' but they carry them," Ramhold said.
What to buy and not buy on Friday
As far as what to buy on Black Friday, Ramhold and Bodge say you will find great deals on:
- Small kitchen appliances.
- Beauty products.
But they suggest you hold off on:
- Winter clothing (on sale closer to Christmas).
- Exercise equipment (on sale in January).
- Toys (marked down in mid-December).
Either way, shop around because there is no single store with the lowest price on everything.
Tanya Laginas said, "I do a lot in store still, but I do online as well."
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
Follow John on Instagram @johnmataresemoney
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)
For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to www.dontwasteyourmoney.com