Black Friday Shopping: Online or In Store?

Shoppers rush in a Target store in Baton Rouge, La., last year at 4 a.m. Will they do the same at 12 a.m. this year?

New York—Black Friday-mania is hitting a fever pitch. As retailers push up their Black Friday schedules  up to midnight after Thanksgiving—or even earlier—shoppers may find themselves cutting back on their Thanksgiving dinners to get a place in lines outside stores.

But some consumer experts caution that shoppers might want to question whether such late night/early morning deals are really worth the trouble.

According to study Christine Freitchen, editor-in-chief of consumersearch.com,  87% of shoppers in its recent survey said stores should “just be closed on Thanksgiving, end of story. So there really does seem to be a yearning for the separation between the day that’s about eating and family and the day that’s about buying stuff.”

Instead, Freitchen advises that consumers will continue to see “Black Friday”-like deals throughout the holiday season, or find them online—in the comfort of their homes.

Black Friday Apps and Alerts

But for those who want to venture forth into a maze of circulars, emails, coupons and online discounts, there are plenty of websites and apps prepared to help shoppers navigate this weekend.

For instance, FreePriceAlerts.com, a free service that claims it’s saved consumers $10 million by finding them the cheapest prices and best deals, has a free shopping tool download. The tool automatically searches hundreds of sites for a better price and then gives the shopper a pop-up alert identifying the deal.

Meanwhile, Simon Buckingham, ceo at Appitalism, which bills itself as the largest online app store, put together his own list of best shopping apps to use this weekend:

Black Friday Deals ($0.99 for the Android). “All the info you need for Black Friday shopping” including hot deals, buying buys, ad scans and store hours. User can create shopping lists and even win prizes.

Black Friday Deals & Coupons (Free for the Android) “Great coupons for saving money on Black Friday” The app is also updated for Cyber Monday, Nov. 23, and throughout the holiday season.

Black Friday Survival Guide (Free for the Android)  blackfriday.fm brings the latest news, the biggest sales, and the best deals right to mobile phones through its app.

TGI Cyber Monday (Free for the Android) User can browse all of this year’s top Cyber Monday deals from more than 50 of the top retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, etc.

 

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