NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From Black Friday to Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, how do you know if and when you’re really getting the best deals?

CBS2’s Cindy Hsu has specific holiday shopping strategies that can help you score the ultimate holiday deals.

Lining up in the wee hours of Black Friday morning to score the best deals is a Thanksgiving tradition for some, but is the holiday shopping strategy a thing of the past?

Benjamin Glaser — a retail analyst with DealNews.com — said you can get the same deals sitting at home online that you can find at the store.

“Every year for the past several years, Amazon has been by far the number one store for Black Friday deals and discounts,” he said.

This week, the online retailer began 25 straight days of Black Friday bargains. Experts said shoppers can get rock bottom prices even before the turkey hits the table.

Having said that, Glaser said you will find the absolute lowest prices of the season on Thanksgiving Day, especially on electronics like TVs, laptops, gaming consoles, and appliances.

“And the good news is you can still enjoy your family dinner because almost all of these discounts will be available,” he said.

Whether you prefer to shop online or in store, Glaser said first do your homework.

DealNews.com and other websites are already analyzing the ads to find the lowest prices and will even email you savings alerts.

Along with Amazon the site found Target, tech retailer Newegg, Best Buy, and Walmart were also offering deep discounts this year.

“Sites like retailmenot offer coupons, some of them are 20 and 30 percent off,” shopping expert Dawn Delrusso said.

To really cash in, shop armed with additional discounts offered by apps like seecows and ebates.

She said Cyber Monday is the best day of the year for these stackable online coupon codes, especially at apparel and footwear retailers.

Experts said to wait until December to get the best deals on jewelry, heavy winter clothes, and gift cards.

If you’re after the hottest toys of the season like hatchimals they sell out fast, so if you see them, buy them right away and don’t expect any deals — you may have to pay more than retail price.

If you plan to brave the crowds, Delrusso said dress in layers, wear flats, and opt for a cross body bag.

“It’s much smaller so you’re not going to have the weight of your big, heavy, bag,” she said.

One final tip — always ask about the return policy. During the holidays, retailers sometimes change their policies so customers can only get store credit back instead of cash.

 

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