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YOUR MONEY: Five best things to buy in November

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 9:08 AM CDT
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Information provided by RetailMeNot.com

(WAFB) - Welcome to November! For avid shoppers and deal-hunters, this month is the main event. After all, it contains Black Friday (and all the early-hype sales leading up to to it), Cyber Monday and RetailMeNot’s very own Cash Back Day (Nov. 4 and 5)!

Using our internal discount data, we calculated the average discounts November shoppers can expect in popular categories. Based on that, these are the top categories to shop this month.

If you’re wondering how early is “too early” to start shopping for the holidays, the answer is, “What are you waiting for?” Shoppers and retailers alike will be facing supply chain issues and shipping delays this year. So, take advantage of all the early and “pre” Black Friday sales being offered this year from the likes of Best Buy, Walmart and Amazon, and check some must-haves off your list as soon as possible. Then, you can treat Black Friday and Cyber Monday as your final rounds for extra deal-hunting and self-gifting.

If you’re going to be shopping anyway (and we know you will be), you might as well earn some cash back. Enter RetailMeNot’s Cash Back Day. It’s their annual event that offers cash back when you shop at hundreds of online retailers. Learn more about how Cash Back Day works.

This year’s Cash Back Day event runs for 48 hours from Thursday, Nov. 4 and Friday, Nov. 5 and will let shoppers earn up to 5x cash back while they shop at retailers including Aerie, Bloomingdale’s, Carter’s, Hotwire, Sephora, Shutterfly, Vrbo and many, many more.

Bonus this year: Get exclusive Cash Back Offers through our browser extension, Deal Finder! During Cash Back Day 2021, these limited-time, exclusive cash back offers will available only through our Deal Finder browser extension. Download Deal Finder now, and be ready.

SHOP CASH BACK DAY

While this year has been challenging for the retail industry, stores will offer plenty of ways to save this month. We looked at our internal data to find out the average discounts for top items in November — so make sure the categories below are at the top of your shopping list.

When shopping for any of the items below, know that stock of popular items will be low this year, due to supply chain issues. And, when items sell out, they may not be restocked. The good news is that all of these categories will have plenty of options. So, if your first choice is sold out, you can likely find a deal on a similar item.

1. Makeup/Skincare (Average Discount: 25% Off)

According to our recent survey, makeup and skincare items are among the top-planned holiday buys this year (especially among younger shoppers). And these items are smart buys, too: Shoppers can expect an average discount of 25% off!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge days for beauty retailers, so expect chains (like Ulta and Sephora) to throw sales. Ulta is known for offering 50% off select beauty sets and styling tools during its Black Friday sale, for example. And small niche brands will be offering discounts as well.

So, whether you plan to buy holiday beauty gift sets for your nearest and dearest, or need to restock your own makeup drawer, expect a LOT of otherwise pricey brands to move into your price range. And don’t forget about free gifts with purchase. Beauty stores often throw in travel-sized products or even robes with specific purchases during their Black Friday sales. It’s those little extras that make holiday shopping so fun.

2. Clothing (Average Discount: 23% Off)

A new season means you need a new wardrobe, whether you’re planning to head out into the cold or stay cozy at home in your sweatpants. While you usually want to wait until just after a new season to shop for apparel, Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring a unique opportunity — plenty of winter styles will be on sale early, from boots to coats to sweaters.Keep in mind that this year’s Black Friday clothing sales are likely to be disrupted by supply chain issues. Retailers are having to reconfigure their reliance on global manufacturing hubs, as well as pay more for shipping and labor. That could mean the usual super-cheap shirt selection could be sparse this season.

Even so, clothing is a smart buy in November, given all the sales. High-priced luxury items will likely see healthy discounts that bring them into your price range. And stores are known for offering Cyber Monday promo codes worth 15% off or more on your entire cart.

3. Toys (Average Discount: 22% Off)

If toys are on your holiday shopping list, November is the time to buy them. Not only will you see discounts during retailers’ Black Friday sales, but retailers will likely have trouble restocking popular toys due to supply chain issues. So, shop toys in November because this year, when they’re gone, they’re probably gone.

Note that you won’t likely see big discounts on the hottest and newest toys this year (Magic Mixies, for example). But plenty of boardgames, Barbie-brand items, STEM robot toys and various stocking stuffers will be discounted.

4. Computers and Electronics (Average Discount: 20% Off)

Electronics (from TVs to smart home gadgets to tablets to earbuds) are some of the most-hyped Black Friday buys. Whether you’re self-gifting yourself a new 4K TV or seeking cheap AirPods for a loved one, you can expect some of the best prices of the year. Need to upgrade your laptop or your kid’s tablet? Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the best (if not THE best) days to shop.

This year, it’s important to remember that the consumer electronics industry is facing a chip shortage, as well as all the labor and supply chain challenges the entire retail industry is facing. That means shoppers might not find the vast selection of budget-friendly laptops or super-cheap TVs of Black Fridays past. However, there are still plenty of tech items to pivot to, like smart home assistants, smart thermostats, video doorbells and photography equipment.

5. Travel (Average Discount: 19% Off)

If you’re itching to get away, start browsing for travel deals in November. Travel providers are just as eager as consumers are to get back to the skies and onto the high seas, so expect some tempting deals.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday in particular have traditionally been treasure troves of flight, hotel, vacation package and cruise bargains. And we also hope, now that the pandemic is waning, that Travel Tuesday (the day after Cyber Monday) could make a comeback.

However, when shopping these Cyber Week travel deals, note that travel sellers tend to lean toward deals on bundled vacation packages and travel to very specific destinations. So don’t assume you’ll save on exactly where you want to go. Instead, stay open-minded and let the deals lead you to places you didn’t know you wanted to go.

Honorable Mention: Genealogy Kits

Maybe it’s the fact that the holidays get people thinking about family. Or perhaps it’s because DNA-testing kits are highly giftable. In any case, genealogy kits go on sale like clockwork during the holidays and on Black Friday. They might not be the most glamorous Black Friday buy (that honor goes to TVs and gaming systems), but prices get slashed by 40% or more, making them a very smart purchase.

Check out 23andMe and Ancestry, in particular. They have solid reputations, and the kits reliably go on sale on Amazon in the lead up to the holidays.

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