How do you know if a bargain is really a bargain?

For some shoppers, Black Friday bargains are a big deal — that’s if you can find one.

“The problem is retailers have kind of stretched out Black Friday from what used to be a single day to a whole month. So, it’s kind of ‘Black November,'” said Edgar Dworsky, founder and editor of Consumer World, a trade publication that offers consumer advice.

He said that makes it difficult for shoppers to know when they’re actually getting a good deal.

“If the price looks good, maybe, you’ve got to grab it,” said Dworsky.

But he encouraged consumers to do some comparison shopping by using a price tool like

“Basically, you can find an item on Amazon, plug it into CamelCamelCamel. It can show the history of the item over the past year. That way, you can tell if the price is being offered in the current sale,” Dworsky said.

You can preview the Black Friday sale circulars now at It will have all those deals in one place.

“That way you can kind of let your fingers do the comparison. See what’s on sale, look at model numbers,” Dworsky said.

Consumer World offers these holiday shopping tips to help bag the best bargains:

  1. Read the ads and sale circulars.
  2. Evaluate the deals by using a pricing tool.
  3. Research the right product by reading user reviews with descriptions.
  4. Save with “triple plays” — buying items at a good sale price, using coupons offered to lower that price even more and looking for items that also have a “cash back” rebate.
  5. Double-check dates and times at certain stores and their websites to determine when sales begins and whether any particular items will be online, in-store, or both.
  6. Check the return policy before buying and make sure to get a gift receipt.
  7. Use a credit card that offers valuable benefits and discounts.

Sandra Jones

Sandra Jones is an Anchor/Reporter for WTOP. She’s been in the news industry for more than two decades.

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