Retailers turn Black Friday into month-long sales extravaganza

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Retailers turn Black Friday into month-long sales extravaganza
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Walmart, Target and Best Buy have all decided that the prior way of doing Black Friday — with bargains concentrated in a 36 or 48 hour period — is passé. Here’s a look-see at what’s coming this year instead!

Read more: Online Shopping Guide: How to get the best price possible

Walmart, Target and Best Buy reshape the sales calendar

Just yesterday, Walmart launched a 90-day sale. I can’t remember anything like this ever before. They’ve cut the prices on the most popular Black Friday items (read: electronics) already as of November 1!

For example, an iPad Mini 2 is being priced at $199, which may well be the cheapest price in the country. That’s just one of a huge number of items they’ve put on sale. Walmart’s strategy is designed to reward early shoppers. Shopping later in the season means you’re likely to be left with scraps.

Target, meanwhile, has launched free shipping with no minimum order. Best Buy has done the same. Walmart, however, did not go this route.

Walmart is instead offering free shipping with a $50 minimum, though shipping site-to-store is free. Think about it: Their motivation is to get you in the store so you walk by all the impulse buys they put out this time of year! Meanwhile, Amazon has gone to two-tier pricing. They will have a huge number of sale items, but they’re only for Prime members.

But the biggest news is that the idea of a concentrated Black Friday no longer serves the retailers’ needs. So no more of you bleary-eyed getting up at 3 am to snag a deal!

The biggest loser in all this? Newspapers who used to sell a huge number of papers on Thanksgiving Day to non-subscribers who were looking to get access to all the sales fliers. That sense of urgency won’t be there anymore.

The new urgency is to front load your Christmas shopping. Because the prices are already lower and inventory is at its best right now!

As far as Black Friday itself, there will still be some legacy deals to be had for online and in-store shoppers. Plus, the best TV deals will still be concentrated in roughly a 48-hour period around Black Friday.

Oh well, I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same!

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Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust.
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