Consumer Expert Shares Tips On Scoring The Best Deals

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When it comes to scoring the best deals on toys, clothes and TVs, CBS 2’s Ultimate Holiday Shopping Guide has the answers.

Every year, Black Friday shoppers brave the weather, traffic and crowds to snag a deal, but is all the mayhem really worth it?

As CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported, experts say some of the best deals may actually be online.

“Our data indicates that the majority, if not all of the Black Friday sales that happen in-store, are available online,” said Mark LoCastro, a consumer expert with

“Those same exact products will be available online, again at the same price or even cheaper.”

LoCastro also said this year, with a shorter holiday shopping season, the long Thanksgiving weekend is the best time to take advantage of huge promotions — you just need to know which days to shop for what.

“Deals on Thanksgiving are going to differ versus the deals on Black Friday versus on Cyber Monday,” he said.

If you’re in the market for clothes and shoes, experts say your best bet is to shop online on Cyber Monday.

For the best deals on video games and HDTVs, Thanksgiving Day is the time to shop.

“There are 229 percent more gaming deals on Thanksgiving versus Cyber Monday,” LoCastro said.

If you’re looking for a computer — or an iPhone — shop on Black Friday, but avoid certain stores.

“Do not shop at the Apple Store,” LoCastro said. “If you shop at like Amazon (or) Best Buy, you’ll have double the percentages off.”

And when it comes to buying toys, it’s best to wait weeks.

“Two weeks before Christmas, you see the steepest discounts on toys,” LoCastro said.

As for those door-buster deals, experts say buyer beware. There are limited quantities of the items, so you might miss out if you’re not among the first in line.

And remember, this time of year, not everyone has the good-will spirit, and it’s easy to be taken advantage of. Some shopping websites might not be legitimate businesses, warned Claire Rosenzweig, president of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York.

She recommended that shoppers make sure their computers are protected and to only shop on secure sites.

“You also want to look for the privacy policy because you want to know what’s happening to your personal information once you hand it over to that website,” Rosenzweig said.

Rosenzweig also said to watch out for gift-card “gotchas,” false advertising and restocking fees.

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