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Black Friday, Cyber Monday -- where are the deals? Find out why things are changing

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Is Black Friday still the official start of the holiday shopping season? Surging inflation that has taken a toll on household budgets, and the Black Friday shopping bonanza comes as Americans have been delaying paying full-price and only buying on sale as they get whacked with higher interest rates, higher food bills and an uncertain economy.

Even if retailers have a strong opening, analysts expect a dramatic slowdown in sales for the season compared to a year ago.

Shoppers this year have continued the trend of checking off their lists well before the holidays, but that doesn’t mean people won’t be out looking for deals on Black Friday in a year when many items cost more.

From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, an estimated 166.3 million people are expected to shop, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. For Black Friday, 114.9 million are planning to spend.

That’s even with 60% of shoppers having started on their lists by early November.

“While consumers continue to save the bulk of their holiday shopping for later in November and December, some of that spending has shifted into October,” said Phil Rist, Prosper executive vice president of strategy, in a news release. “This year, 18% of holiday shoppers have completed at least half of their holiday shopping. While this is on par with last year, it is up from only 11% a decade ago.”

Consumers holding out for big deals — and some much-needed relief from soaring costs on just about everything — may be disappointed as they head into the busiest shopping season of the year.

While retailers are advertising sales of 30%, 50% and 70% off everything from TVs to gadgets, many items will still cost more than they did last year because of inflation and finding a true bargain may prove to be a challenge.

“It’s just a weird time for everybody to figure out what is the right price, and what is the real price,” said Nikki Baird, vice president of strategy of Aptos, a retail technology firm. “Consumers are really bad at discount math, and retailers are fully aware of it and do everything they can to take advantage of it.”

The Monday following Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday, has historically been a one-day, online-exclusive sale event. But now, as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holiday season sales increasingly expand and blend into one another, it's becoming more difficult to resist the constant pressure to shop.

A solid strategy can help you make the most of Cyber Monday without busting your budget. Here's what to do.

CNET host Abrar Al-heeti with tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers

Everything you need to know for Black Friday 2022

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This year’s Black Friday will be similar to last year’s, but many stores are starting their sales earlier and major retailers will be adding additional deals to their websites on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Jon Vincent, founder of EarlyBlackFriday.com and a national expert on Black Friday deals, gives us tips on how to navigate shopping this year.

You can find all of the 2022 Black Friday ads and Cyber Monday deals from your favorite retailers on EarlyBlackFriday.com.

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With so many incentives to shop, it’s tough to predict which bargains will actually be worthwhile. Here are a few tips for this Black Friday.

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What actually makes a Black Friday deal worth pursuing? An item's reduced price, availability and affordability are key elements. Here's what to consider before you buy.

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There’s still going to be plenty of Black Friday shopping (except at outdoors supplier REI) and Cyber Monday tech deals to consider, and retailers are optimistic about holiday sales overall. To that end, we’re offering some guidance for smart shopping on both days and throughout the busy retail season. Have at it. 

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Let’s be honest. A constant barrage of sales for three months is a lot. So make a plan to help yourself navigate and save.

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This holiday shopping season is shaping up to be longer, pricier and in some ways more chaotic than in previous years, which makes it easy to overspend. But there are also opportunities for significant savings if you know where and how to search for them.

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Are we past shipping bottlenecks, clogged ports of entry and long-haul trucking issues? How will supply chains and inventory levels impact Black Friday bargains? There is good news.

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Not only is inflation making everything more expensive, but e-commerce has completely reshaped the shopping experience. Many of the gold standards for deal hunting don’t apply anymore, so here’s what you need to remember.

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A solid strategy can help you make the most of Cyber Monday without busting your budget. Here's what to do.

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