(NEW YORK) -- It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but this holiday season it is an all-out war for business as retailers offer their most competitive prices on electronics in years. “It’s like a civil war for electronics,” said Mark Ellwood, author of How to Shop in a Discounted World. “It’s bloody brutal and there are going to be a lot of casualties.”
The reason behind the cutthroat competition: This year’s holiday shopping season is 26 days long, down from 32 in 2012.
Retailers are trying to lure customers into their stores first by offering ridiculously low prices on flat-screen TVs, hoping buyers leave with much more.
According to Nielsen, the average family has three TVs. Walmart has ordered 65 percent more televisions and twice as many tablets for Black Friday as in 2012 and it plans to slash prices. One flat-screen TV is being sold for $98 while an iPad mini comes with a $100 gift card.
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly told ABC News that his store was offering students a free year of Sprint service with the purchase of a smartphone.
“We’re price competitive and our strategy is to be price competitive,” he said. “What’s happening? It’s almost Black Friday every day.”
Below, find some “Real Money” tips to get the best deals this season.
- Know where to buy using sites like NerdWallet to find the deals. For example, at Target, during Black Friday customers can get a $100 gift card when buying an iPad.
- Know what to buy using tools like WireCutter, which researches the best products on the market.
- Never miss a deal. The big four stores -- Target, Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy -- are matching their competitors’ prices online and in the store, even after a purchase is made, but you need to ask for it.
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