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REPORT: Holiday Shopping Tips

November 20, 2018, 8:30 AM HST (Updated November 20, 2018, 8:20 AM)
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WalletHub has offered studies, reports and highlights for the 2018 holiday shopping season.

Black Friday shopping is one of America’s most treasured holiday traditions. But there’s always a bit of hassle involved: Shoppers have to get up early, stand in endless lines at stores and try to find deals through hordes of other shoppers—all in the name of savings.

That tradition is changing, however. Black Friday sales are starting earlier, weeks ahead of the actual shopping holiday at some stores. And many retailers are offering even steeper price cuts or other discount promotions, both in store and online, just to stay ahead of their competitors. That’s good news for shoppers, especially those who prefer to shop from home. So which stores offer the best discounts and for which items?

To answer that question and help consumers maximize their Black Friday savings, WalletHub surveyed nearly 7,000 deals from 35 of the biggest U.S. retailers’ 2018 Black Friday ad scans. Below, we’ve listed the stores offering the largest advertised discounts in various product categories such as “Jewelry” and “Appliances.” Read on for the full list, our methodology and shopping wisdom from WalletHub’s experts.

Belk, JCPenney and Stage are 2018’s Best Stores for Black Friday, offering an average discount of at least 62.1%.

Best Places to Shop on Black Friday

Retailer2018 Avg. % Discount by Retailer2017 Avg. % Discount by Retailer2016 Avg. % Discount by Retailer2015 Avg. % Discount by Retailer
Belk68.9%62.8%N/A59.5%
JCPenney65.1%66.3%62.8%68.0%
Stage62.1%60.8%62.8%63.9%
Kohl’s60.8%66.3%58.1%66.7%
New York & Company54.5%N/AN/AN/A
Payless ShoeSource50.3%N/AN/AN/A
Dick’s Sporting Goods49.9%35.1%N/AN/A
Macy’s48.7%45.6%63.4%56.0%
Fred Meyer45.3%43.9%49.7%45.3%
Shopko45.2%55.9%55.6%N/A
Sears42.9%50.1%43.9%41.7%
Office Depot and OfficeMax42.6%34.5%43.0%42.8%
Lenovo40.1%N/AN/AN/A
Meijer39.8%32.4%33.8%39.1%
Kmart37.9%35.8%28.6%50.1%
Target34.8%36.2%28.6%37.3%
Stein Mart33.0%N/AN/AN/A
Staples32.0%32.3%33.1%34.4%
BJ’s31.0%32.1%32.0%30.6%
Walmart29.9%34.2%32.6%30.1%
Microsoft29.9%N/A29.3%N/A
Jet.com29.4%N/AN/AN/A
Amazon29.3%36.8%24.7%25.8%
Best Buy28.7%30.0%33.2%33.5%
Newegg28.4%28.3%N/AN/A
Academy Sports + Outdoors28.0%N/AN/AN/A
HP27.5%34.0%28.5%N/A
Dell Home27.4%29.3%35.7%35.3%
Costco25.1%21.9%25.4%19.5%
Harbor Freight23.5%22.5%62.6%N/A
Big Lots22.9%24.1%23.5%27.1%
Sam’s Club22.3%N/A28.3%24.9%
Ace Hardware21.9%21.5%27.7%34.2%
Gander Outdoors18.0%N/AN/AN/A
True Value16.3%32.8%31.9%N/A
All Retailers37.0%37.1%39.0%40.2%

Over 10% of items will be more expensive on Black Friday than they currently are on Amazon.com.

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While Black Friday is traditionally associated with the best prices, we should pause from our spending and ask: How good of a deal am I really getting? According to WalletHub’s holiday shopping survey, 51% of consumers said they don’t think Black Friday offers the most unbeatable bargains of the year.

To separate myth from fact, WalletHub compared pre- and actual Black Friday prices for a broad selection of items. Using the price difference of each item, WalletHub isolated the offers that are truly worth the hassle of participating in America’s biggest shopping craze.

You can find our complete ranking of the best items to buy on Black Friday, expert commentary and a detailed explanation of our methodology here.

Jewelry will offer the most value on Black Friday 2018 relative to their current prices, while computers & phones are expected to be the least rewarding deals.

About 35% of shoppers plan to spend more than $500 on holiday purchases in 2018 (vs. 33% last year), according to WalletHub’s 2018 Holiday Shopping Survey.

Disney, iTunes and Visa top the list of 2018’s Best Gift Cards.

Consumers can save $500-plus with one of 2018’s Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping.

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