Tips for finding the best savings and sales this Black Friday

A sign promoting Black Friday specials is displayed in the window of a J.C. Penny store as shoppers queue up at the door for a 3 p.m. opening, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in northeast Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A sign promoting Black Friday specials is displayed in the window of a J.C. Penny store as shoppers queue up at the door for a 3 p.m. opening, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in northeast Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thousands of happy holiday shoppers are hitting stores this weekend as the shopping season kicks off.

“The hype of it all, it’s the excitement,” said Sonia Croxi, a very excited Black Friday shopper.

Many major retailers boast their best deals come on Black Friday; market research shows that might not be the case.

“More and more retailers are diffusing their promotions during the whole season,” said Charles Lindsey, a Marketing Researcher at the University at Buffalo.

Researchers say about 30% of the door busting Black Friday deals offered are actually good, solid savings.

“You can still get some good deals but I don’t think it’s as ubiquitous or frequent as the general public thinks,” said Lindsey.

It’s not stopping shoppers from spending.

“[I’m getting] anything and everything,” said Croxi.

Weekend sales are expected to be between $135 and $180 billion dollars; overall holiday sales are expected to be $900 billion, up more than 3% from last year.

“There are deals to be had and you can save money while checking items off your list but you have to be smart about it,” said Lindsey.

Smart about it, according to Lindsey, means planning ahead. Make a list of who you’re buying for and what you’d like to purchase. He says to check sites like WireCutter.com and SweetHome.com and download the app ShopSavvy to compare prices before and during shopping. Set a budget.

“I does pay in the end,” said Lindsey.

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