The biggest shopping season of the year is upon us and, like so many other things, Black Friday will look different this year. But Consumer Reports said that does not mean you still can't score some great deals.
Amazon Prime Day is over, and now it's time to think about Black Friday.
Because of the pandemic, Consumer Reports said certain products are in short supply, and delivery companies are already pushed to the max, so the time to start thinking about holiday shopping is now.
"Getting a head start is so important this year because some deals have already begun. You've got three main options for shopping- online shipping, online with curbside pickup and in-store," said Samantha Gordon, Consumer Reports shopping expert.
In fact, Walmart has already announced its "Black Friday Deals for Days," three separate events during November with contact-free curbside pickup, something the store is offering for Black Friday for the first time.
Target is also offering deals throughout the month and is extending its price match guarantee through December 24. Target also offers curbside pickup.
And Amazon's holiday sales have already begun.
Another reason to shop early: you want to make sure there's enough time for shipping.
"With holiday shopping on top of the widespread shift to online shopping during the pandemic, shipping companies are going to be totally overwhelmed. It's actually being dubbed 'shipageddon,'" she said.
Aside from shopping early, CR suggested shopping around. That allows you to find the best prices and will be key for finding popular items that may go out of stock quickly.
CR also said to expect some higher shipping costs this season and said it's important to factor those costs in when comparison shopping.