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Hey there listeners. This is Brett Molina. Welcome to Talking Tech. happy Thanksgiving. I’m sure by now you’ve either fork into the turkey and stuffing and all that fun stuff, or you’re just waiting for your turkey to cook. Anyhow, I hope you are enjoying the holiday. However, if you’re getting ready to start shopping for the holidays, tomorrow is going to be a huge day. It’s Black Friday. This is where you find deals coming from everywhere, whether it’s in-store, in-store, or whether it’s online through places like Amazon and Walmart, and countless other retailers. It’s going to be extremely busy. And of course, the most you want to do is find those perfect gifts for your loved ones, while maybe even saving a little bit of money. Joining us is Granthshala Consumer Reporter Kelly Tycho to talk more about that and to help you save and find the gift you want for this holiday. Kelly, thank you so much for being here.
Well, thanks for having me. It’s a big day, a big week, a lot of shopping to do, and a lot to explore. This year, it is, again, a very different holiday season. Black Friday officially debuts on Sunday at some stores, last Friday at Best Buy. They have deals all week long. So, I guess my best advice would be to start shopping early. So we’re a little late there, but there’s still a lot of deals to be had. There’s a lot of shopping going on right now. It’s just different this year with supply chain disruptions. limited capacity. Last year, you couldn’t find Xbox and PlayStation. Something similar this year. That’s what you’ll see. You will have the same problems this year as well. So if you really want one of those, GameStop could be one of your options. They’re opening Thanksgiving, some of their locations. I haven’t seen their Black Friday yet, but last year we did a lot of campouts at GameStop.
So I know that last year, on Black Friday, we were still in the middle of a pandemic. And so, we saw a lot of retailers move their deals online and start offering them much earlier. With things going on this year with supply chain issues and inflation, you know, what’s going to be different about shopping this Black Friday?
Well, I guess a lot is the same where this year, there are more deals online than in-store. So Walmart had PlayStation and Xbox Online on Monday. They begin their online sales Monday, except for the Xbox Series S, which will be available in stores while supplies will be at Walmart on Friday. They won’t have a PS5 or Xbox Series X. This is an online-only deal, an online-only offer. It’s still full price, but it’s an online offer. And those sold out really fast. He opened it up to Walmart Plus members. That’s why you had to buy a subscription to get early access to sales. And I tested it. I tried to get one for my team, and it didn’t work out. They sold out really fast. That’s why Walmart’s plan this year was to get shoppers to shop early. One way was for Walmart Plus members to get early access.
So what are other ways shoppers can save money this season?
Well, rewards programs, always use a rewards program. As such, Kohl’s is one of the stores I shop the most during Black Friday. I have Kohl’s rewards program on my phone. I am logged in. I will receive kohl’s cash for my purchases. I will get discount And also coupons are to be used. So there are many ways to save at once. Now, like if I shop at Target, I’m using my Target Red Card. I save 5%. If you don’t have a red card, use the Target Circle rewards program, which is free. You earn 1% back on your purchases using Target Circle. Use rewards programs. Look for Coupons. They might not only automatically give you a coupon when you’re checking out in the store, but ask if you don’t have a coupon.
So, you know, one thing that always comes up, whenever we talk about Black Friday, and I feel like every time you see news about Black Friday on TV, for example . You always see people who are crowding in front of the shops and waiting for those deals to be completed. And it seemed that last year with COVID and the pandemic, that went away. Do you feel like that kind of experience is now gone for good?
Well, I went to several stores on Black Friday last year. I was at Best Buy when they opened at 5:00, and they had a long, socially distanced line. So it was not that the shopkeepers did not line up. I went to the mall around the same time, and I could walk around that mall, and I couldn’t meet much people in that mall. Like there was no line to enter some shops. You know, some stores require lines on a daily basis. They limit the number of shoppers. So there are still COVID restrictions in some places.
As such, in some states, you will need your vaccine card to go shopping. Some stores require masks depending on the store. Sometimes it’s by state, by mall. There are variations, so I think it’s very different. Last year was the quietest Black Friday in 20 years. I think more people are going to come this year because they are missed online. And it’s a way, maybe, to get the goods sold. You’ll be able to find it in-store when they put out more items. You know, though, there’s a lot of sales going on already. So that’s one reason why there will be limited supplies if you haven’t started your shopping yet.
Great stuff, as always, Kelly. Thank you so much for coming here, and hope to be back soon.
Listeners, let’s hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions? You can find me on Twitter @brettmolina23. Please don’t forget to subscribe and rate us, and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, wherever you find your podcast. You are listening to Talking Tech. We will be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the tech world.