COMMERCE (CBSLA) – Holiday shopping is now underway, but many are finding that the best deals depend on when you shop.
Stores at the Citadel Outlets open at 8 p.m. for their early-access “Black Friday” shopping hours, but whether consumers are shopping in-person at stores or online, the more specific the gifts, the harder they might be to find.
This year, Americans are expect to spend more than ever, though inflation has raised the prices of products across the board.
Eric Matisoff of Adobe Analytics said online shoppers might be able to find some good deals by using a little strategy.
“The hot items this year are kind of your usual holiday standards, electronics, toys,” he said, adding that Thanksgiving day will have the best discounts for toys.
Home goods, like furniture and tools, according to Matisoff, are better if purchased on “Black Friday.” It’s not until Saturday that he says cyber-shoppers will see more deals for electronics and appliances. Sunday is the best day for apparel and sporting goods and “Cyber Monday” for televisions.
“If you’re looking to make that upgrade to a new TV, then ‘Cyber Monday’ is going to be your day for that. But if you’re waiting for ‘Cyber Monday,’ you may not get the exact brand and model that you’re looking for,” said Matisoff.
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That’s because the supply chain crisis is creating shortages.
According to Adobe, cyber-shoppers are seeing a 250% in “out of stock” messages compared to pre-pandemic levels.
“Retailers are going to have a lot of trouble restocking things this year,” said Kristin MgGrath from Retailmenot.com.
She said that online shoppers and in stores face a dilemma, buy now or wait for a better deal, but experts say that anyone trying to get a specific item should grab it now or risk missing out on it altogether.
“If you’re flexible and you’re just looking for stocking stuffers, boardgames, holiday gifts and home good in general, you’ll probably find some sales on those in stores,” McGrath said.
Officials at the Citadel Outlets said they haven’t yet seen any shortages in their stores, so shopping in-person might be the way to go if you want to get a jump on the holiday deals ahead of time.