Brad Wilson

Ask Brad: What Deals Should Holiday Shoppers Expect?

By: Brad Wilson, National Lifestyle Content Desk

In this week’s Q&A, Brad Wilson from Brad’s Deals answers questions on what shoppers can expect this holiday season, shipping delays, and finding bargains.

Q: What should shoppers expect this holiday, when it comes to deals?

Brad: The good news is that shoppers can still expect to see great deals during the holiday shopping season. However, we expect that this year, we are going to be seeing some of those great deals much earlier than we normally do. That means it is a good idea to start planning early, so that when a great price drop comes in on something on your list, you are ready to make that purchase.

Q: How far in advance should we buy holiday items to ensure it arrives on time, has COVID changed anything here?

Brad: We’ve been hearing from a number of major retailers that they are worried about shipping delays later in the year. Because of the pandemic, it is hard to anticipate. Another factor to consider is that both FedEx and UPS have announced rate hikes for the holiday shopping season. For retailers who may normally take on some of the cost of last minute shipping to get goods out to consumers, it may be harder for them to do that this year. What this means for consumers is, the earlier the better. I would recommend finishing your online shopping within the first two weeks of December at the latest.

Q: How can you tell if a deal is too good to be true?

Brad: If a popular product is on sale at one website that you’ve never heard for much less than anywhere else, it might be too good to be true. If you see a product like this, it’s a good idea to do some basic research about the website.

Can you find reviews of the site?

Does the website look like it was created in a rush, with poor formatting, and copy that doesn’t make sense?

If the answer is yes, it is very likely you are on a phishing website created to steal your personal information.

On the other hand, the site may be a real retailer, but if the price is much less than you are seeing elsewhere, double-check to make sure you understand the condition of the item you are purchasing. Refurbished or open-box items can be a good deal, but only if you know what you are getting.

Q: What’s the easiest way to compare prices?

Brad: Google Shopping is a great tool for price comparisons. However, it isn’t perfect. Always make sure you click into the Google Shopping page. The search results that show on the main page are frequently ad-based, meaning they may or may not be the lowest price. Also, sometimes Amazon prices are not included, so it is a good idea to do an extra search there. Additionally, the prices you see may or may not include additional promo codes, and shipping information can be inaccurate. Click through to the individual retailer sites to make sure you are getting the full story.

Q: How does the Brad’s Deals app work?

Brad: The Brad’s Deals app allows consumers to discover amazing deals wherever they are without doing all of the extra legwork. Our expert deal editors make sure that everything we post is the best price you’ll find anywhere online, often with extra savings or free shipping just for our users! We also verify that every deal comes from a retail site or Amazon seller that is a legit and trustworthy business, so you can buy with confidence.

This year, in the app and on our website, we’ll be highlighting early “Black Friday Values” that are predicted to be the best prices of the holiday season.

Brad Wilson is a columnist for Julie Loffredi, National Lifestyle Content Desk. Do you have a question for Brad? Write him at askbrad@bradsdeals.com.