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Holiday shopping guidelines on how to save money and stay safe

Experts are showing you the answer to the question "where's the money".

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — 'Tis the season for holiday shopping. But this year it may look a little different.
Before the pandemic, stores began staying open on Thanksgiving day. But now with supply chain issues and a shortage of workers, companies are offering deals all during Thanksgiving week. So is Black Friday even really a thing anymore?

“Well, you know, the idea behind Black Friday was that was when all the deals were there. We have Cyber Monday, Black Friday, we have a whole shopping season now. I gotta tell you deals can be found in many places other than just Black Friday,” says CEO of Alloy Wealth Management Incorporated, Mark Henry.

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Whether you shop on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, or all three days,  Henry says making a list is key to staying within your budget. 

“One of the steps that we're advising is before you start off on this journey of the buying and the shopping season, is to have a written plan," he said. "Decide what you're going to buy and how much you're going to spend, and then kind of list it out.”

If you’re shopping online, Henry has a pretty nifty trick that can save you some cash. He says to fill up your online shopping cart, but then don't check out. He says pausing for a bit may end up getting you a discount. “

These sites are set up to where if you start to shop for something or you look for something, you may find 24, 36, or 48 hours later, you get an email from the company, you were looking at things and guess what they do? 'Come back, we'll give you 20% off, we'll give you 25% off,'" he said.

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Henry says if you’re looking for electronics, wait until Cyber Monday. While Black Friday will have good deals on electronics, he says there is usually only a limited quantity in stores.

Unfortunately, there are real-life scrooges out there as well. Henry advises to keep an eye out for scammers, especially online. He says scammers will change the verbiage of an email just a little bit to make it sound like a store you were shopping at. 

"Wait a second. Really slow down. Make sure it's real. Don't give out your information freely.”

Contact Carolyn Bruck at cbruck@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

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