NEW YORK (WABC) -- Supply chain shortages are shaping this Black Friday season, and discounts won't be as deep because sellers don't have to lower prices.
It's simple economics: Low supply combined with high demand means inventory is limited, so you really need to maximize your savings beginning with getting out and and shopping early.
The good news, though, is that the deals began a lot earlier and will stick around longer.
"Don't wait until the day after Thanksgiving," consumer expert Janice Lieberman said. "There may be nothing left."
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She warns that early birds will win Black Friday, as most retailers have already released 2021 deals.
Target's top picks are live, offered now through Saturday, with 50% off toys and $60 off AirPods and Apple watches.
Petco unleashed early Black Friday deals, like half off food for dogs, cats, reptiles and fish.
Harmon had $30 off a heated foot spa and $11 in savings on electric toothbrush heads.
You can also clean up on vacuum deals, and we saw prices slashed on washers, dryers, and all sorts of large or small appliances, home security, headphones, 50-inch TVs and other electronics.
At PC Richard and Sons, select sales come with a Black Friday guarantee, meaning you can buy it now and for the next 30 days, the store will refund the difference if you score the same item for less somewhere else.
"You have to do your research," Lieberman said. "You have to look online, you have to be a loyalty member. You have to shop local, grab what you can grab."
Seasonal items like hats, scarves and gloves will sell out fast, as will winter footwear.
Local chains like Shoe-Inn says securing stock for their nine stores has been a struggle.
"Shipments are still getting delayed," Shoe-Inn VP Peter Lawson said. "We are still going to the airport on Wednesday before Black Friday to pick up goods for Black Friday weekend. My advice is to shop now."
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Also, be flexible on style and color this year, and think outside the shoebox, too. Save by getting gifts out of season, like a hoverboard instead of a snowboard or a sneaker rather than a suede boot.
Lieberman reminds that Black Friday is about cheap stuff cheaper, and it's not the time to buy high end luxury items or designer stuff.
Also beware of doorbuster deals offering off-brand models only made for Black Friday, and price compare using a scanner app on your phone to automatically see the cheapest price for an item. Then, if applicable, ask the store to price match.
The big takeaway as we get closer to the holidays is that inventory is going to start to dwindle, so you do want to make your purchases soon. First start by making a budget and try to stick to it.
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