NEW YORK (PIX11) — The countdown is on to the biggest shopping event of the year: Black Friday.

It’s regarded as the traditional start of the holiday shopping season when retailers are expected to offer price cuts. Many stores were closed Thanksgiving. 

For a while, big box retailers were open on the holiday. It was a trend not everyone, particularly store employees, were fond of. But many businesses kept their doors shut on Thanksgiving 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic and that has stayed the case. But while their brick-and-mortar locations stayed shut Thursday, their online operations did not.

So what Black Friday deals should you go for? Consumer experts say it’s worth snapping up electronics, mattresses, and appliances, but when it comes to seasonal items like clothes and fitness equipment, you can expect a better price cut later after the new year.

Black Friday deals started as far back as late October and experts suggest do your homework, never make a big purchase without comparison shopping. 

Andrea Woroch is a consumer savings expert. 

“Look at price history,” said Woroch. “This will tell you if the deal you’re looking at now is a really good offer or if you should wait for a price drop to come later.”

Shoppers are hoping to score a bargain, but at much steeper discounts this year. Black Friday comes amid the backdrop of record inflation and a gloomy economic outlook.  

According to RetailMeNot, while 53% of people surveyed said they would be shopping on Black Friday and in stores, they’re spending ,on average, 8% less than they did last year, mostly because of inflation. 

Aaron Lawry is an assistant professor of consumer science at Purdue University.

“Due to inflation, retailers are going to become more transparent,” said Lawry. “Once upon a time, retailers had a lot of secrecy around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but they more than likely will tell consumers upfront what types of price slashes to expect.”

Most big retailers open early on Black Friday. This is just the beginning of the holiday shopping season. After Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday, encouraging consumers to shop in their local mom-and-pop stores and after that comes Cyber Monday.