“It’s too early to start seeing discounts on those phones; I’d say hold off on those until Black Friday, when they might still be full price but bundled with some retail gift cards,” says Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews, a comparison-shopping site.
Online tech deals will come later in the month as well. Online prices for electronics in general will be lowest on Thanksgiving Day. The best prices on TVs will hit on Black Friday, while computers will have the biggest discounts on Cyber Monday, according to an online shopping forecast from Adobe.
4. Ask about post-purchase price adjustments
If you buy an item that then goes on sale shortly afterward, many retailers will refund you the difference in price. (Link your mailbox to the Capital One shopping app, and it will notify you if the price drops on an item for which you have an email receipt.) Target’s “Price Match Guarantee,” for example, will refund you the difference for any item purchased in store or online if the price goes lower at Target on or before December 24.
But some retailers have restrictions on the policy, such as excluding Black Friday, so make sure you understand the details, Ramhold advises. That said, if you’re buying items at prices you feel good about, it may not be worth stressing over how the price is going to change next week.
“At the end of the day, if it’s discounted right now, and you need it for the holidays, and it’s in your budget, you can feel good about buying it,” says shopping expert and editor Kristin McGrath of RetailMeNot, a coupons and deals company. “People get too caught up in worrying about whether the price is going to drop again later.”
5. Read the fine print on returns
If you like to include gift receipts with your presents, make sure to check the details of the gift return policies for items you purchase now. A 30-day return policy on an item purchased on November 20, for example, will expire before Christmas. Some retailers, however, have special extended return policies to make this easier for shoppers. Walmart, for example, will honor returns through January 31 on all items purchased after October 1.