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Where to shop for the best Black Friday deals

Macy's Sac 2 IMG_7779_2_2_2Black Friday is a time that super sale shoppers look forward to every year. It’s possible to get good deals, and even great deals, but you need to compare prices so you don’t get tricked. This is easier this year because Black Friday sales have already started and consumers can do research online.

Also, consumers need to think about whether it’s worth it to fight the crowds for those limited, huge bargains, especially during the pandemic.

This year, most consumers are planning to shop online rather than in-store.

Looking for tips for shopping for the best deals?

WalletHub, a personal finance website, surveyed nearly 5,000 deals from 21 of the biggest U.S. retailers’ 2021 Black Friday ads to identify the stores offering the biggest discounts in product categories such as “Appliances,” “Jewelry,” and “Toys.”

The following are the top retailers from the survey:

Best Black Friday retailers – Average percentage discount

1. Macy's – 58.51 percent

6. Lenovo – 40.29 percent

2. JCPenney – 57.63 percent

7. Nordstrom – 33.21 percent

3. Belk – 56.69 percent

8. Walmart – 31.60 percent

4. Kohl's – 49.32 percent

9. HP – 31.34 percent

5. Office Depot and OfficeMax – 42.85 percent

10. Big Lots – 29.19 percent

 Here are other highlights from WalletHub’s report “2021’s Best Places to Shop on Black Friday.”

  • Macy’s has the highest overall discount rate at 58.51 percent, and Ace Hardware has the lowest at 11.73 percent.
  • The overall average discount for Black Friday is 32 percent. Consumers should aim for this discount amount or higher to avoid Black-Friday traps.
  • The “Apparel & Accessories” category has one of the biggest shares of discounted items, 18.40 percent of all offers, whereas the “Consumer Packaged Goods” category has the smallest at 3.47 percent.

On how to find a real Black Friday deal, Rebecca Jen-Hui Wang, professor of marketing at Northwestern University, recommends doing lots of research across multiple online websites, including price comparisons and user reviews. Also, develop a reference price and keep it in mind.

“This way, you are not relying on the retailers' claims of how much they are discounting; you are making the comparison and judging whether it is a fair deal on your own,” Wang said.

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