The holidays are fast approaching, and while many Americans are most excited for a Thanksgiving Day filled with family and good food, many others are looking forward to going shopping for great deals on Black Friday.
This year, Amazon is expanding its holiday deals beyond the usual one-day Black Friday event. Shoppers can expect to find tens of thousands of deals on popular products including electronics, toys, clothing, jewelry, and kitchen items until December 22nd. New deals will be announced as often as every five minutes throughout the first 8 days of the Black Friday Deals Week starting November 20th, and a total of 20 "coveted Deals of the Day" will be announced starting at midnight on Thanksgiving through Black Friday.
Amazon, however, isn't the only retailer advertising heavy discounts on popular items this Black Friday. Companies all over the country are planning markdowns on products ranging from toys to jewelry to attract customers to their own stores and websites.
But which retailers are expected to have the best deals this Black Friday? Wallet Hub surveyed 8,000 discounts from 30 of the biggest U.S. retailers' 2015 Black Friday ad scans. Then, they found the average discount that each retailer plans to offer both in general and in different categories.
According to Wallet Hub's findings, JCPenney is expected to have the best sales in general, with an average discount of 68.0% on select store items.
Shoppers looking for the best deals on apparel and accessories should try Groupon, which is expected to offer an average of 84.20% off on items in that category. The e-commerce marketplace is also the best place to find the best markdowns on jewelry (84.91%) and consumer electronics (63.43%).
For discounted computers and phones, shoppers should head to Office Depot and Office Max, where advertisements are boasting an average of 40.36% off of retail prices.
The best deals on consumer packaged goods are at Kmart, where items such as food and beverages, footwear and apparel, tobacco, and cleaning products are, on average, 55.97% off.
Black Friday shoppers at Belk will find toys at a 60.92% average discount, and those at Macy's will find appliances at a 60.48% average discount. At Kohl's, furniture will be marked down, on average, by 64.04%.
Now that you know where to go, how can you maximize deals on Black Friday?
"The number one strategy is to do your homework. The more information a consumer has about a product or product category, the less uncertainty involved in the decision-making product," says David Bojanic, Anheuser-Busch Foundation Professor of Tourism at University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business.
With so many websites and apps available that help you compare different prices of products, there's no reason not to do your research beforehand.
Additionally, "consumers should research the quality and price of items they are looking for when shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, particularly for larger items such as laptops or televisions," suggests Patti J. Fisher, Associate Professor of Consumer Studies in the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Products sold on retail holidays do not always have all of the same features that those sold on any other day will have. Be sure to look at the product details to avoid buying a cellphone or laptop without a charger or a television with fewer ports than you expected.
Finally, the most important way to maximize deals is to minimize overspending. Experts agree that setting a budget, creating a list of what you want, and paying in cash are all ways to avoid making any impulse purchases.
Whether you're planning on shopping in-store or online, be sure to check out more of our Black Friday coverage: