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Good Question: When Is The Best Time For Holiday Shopping?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – On Tuesday, Best Buy announced it is joining other stores in opening even earlier on Thanksgiving Day. The retailer announced this year stores will open at 5 p.m.

This follows Target's Monday announcement that it will open Thanksgiving Day at 6 p.m.

Just a few years ago, none of these stores would have been open on Thanksgiving.

But, as more people shop online, retailers are offering deals earlier and earlier.

On Monday, Target also announced it would be offering Black Friday deals on certain items the entire week of Thanksgiving.

"The big change is that we live in a 24-hour shopping society. Retailers are becoming much more astute in saying how can we provide you with offerings that are of interest in a timely fashion," Jonathan Seltzer, a marketing professor at the University of St. Thomas, said.

We used to think shoppers had to take on the Black Friday crowds to get a good deal on a television, but it turns out it might be better to get an early start.

Since 2008, Adobe Digital Index analyzed anonymous data from more one trillion purchases at 4,500 retailers.

They found when shoppers take price and inventory into consideration, the Monday before Thanksgiving is the best day for holiday deals.

"Let's change the paradigm. People should do the bulk of their shopping and take advantage of the lowest prices," Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst of Adobe Digital Index, said. "Don't wait until Cyber Monday to shop online."

Adobe found from now until Thanksgiving week there is an average discount of 17 percent.

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, that discount jumps to 22 percent. By Thanksgiving, it's 24 percent. Black Friday is 23 percent and Cyber Monday is 20 percent.

The rest of December is predicted to have an average discount of 17 percent.

"If you know what you're looking for and you see something that is a good price on an item you want, yes [buy it]," Seltzer said. "You may not get a better deal."

Adobe found that as Thanksgiving week goes on, merchandise sells out. Out-of-stock messages jumped five-fold by Cyber Monday.

Gaffney says there tends to be little price difference between products sold online versus in-store, with the exception of door-busters and last-minute inventory blow-out deals.

"It's going to depend on how much the store wants to sell and it's going to depend on the shipping an availability," Seltzer said. "The one conclusion is that there is no one single deal."

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