Consumer Alert: 3 ways to hack your holiday shopping

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MEMPHIS, Tenn -- From news about Black Friday hours to which stores are offering free shipping, retailers are already working hard to get your attention and your money.

The question is, can consumers really benefit?

Brent Shelton of Fatwallet.com said early deals can bring bargains for consumers, but the key is to know what to look for.

Early Deals

  • Wider category of sale items in 2016
  • Won't be limited to toys and previous model electronics
  • Veterans Day falls on a Friday-Expect the long weekend to lead to more sales, especially for items like cookware and fall apparel.

Shelton added, "When all the retailers are part of this big early shopping push, prices come down because they need to compete for your business."

Hot Trends

  • Toys-Star Wars themed items will be big again along with LEGO products (Its Dimensions line is interactive)
  • Drones-Lower prices, better cameras
  • Virtual reality headsets

"What's great about virtual reality, now is there's a lot of games available. There's a lot of programming, where we didn't have that last year," added Shelton.

Ways to Save

  • Sign up for retailer emails
  • Follow social media accounts for exclusive coupons and sale announcements
  • Sign up for mobile notifications

Shelton said, "One of the tactics the last couple of years and we expect it to really ramp up this year is to get notifications that are just for mobile shoppers."

Experts said its also a good idea to check websites that follow Black Friday ads and sales. Retailers also push lots of information to customers with rewards accounts.

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