How to boost your buying power this Christmas

Alright Tampa Bay Shoppers, you got this!

Websites like Retail-me-not.com and FatWallet.com offer free deal alerts telling you when the price drops on specific products. If you start now , you'll save later!

It's not too early! Go ahead and make a budget, write down a gift list, and start researching those prices.

Timing is everything. November is a great time of year to shop for appliances.

Waiting doesn't always pay off because retailers are known to inflate original prices during the holidays to make a December discount look deeper than it really is.

USF marketing expert Rob Hooker says watch out for the "Black Friday" bait and switch.

"They can bundle certain packages maybe a keyboard that comes along with the tablet. Maybe they will charge more for those," he says.

And when you do go mall hopping bring along your best friend: Your phone.

That way you can price check. Sites like PriceGrabber.com and Nextag.com will save you money.

Just type in "price check" into the app store and several free price checking ads pop up. These will give you the best price.

For off brand TV's wait unit Black Friday. For major brand name electronics, wait until Cyber Monday.

For video game systems, you won't find deals on the new stuff, but you can find discounts now if you buy the older consoles. And just remember this: Don't be afraid to negotiate!

"Everything is negotiable in stores, And now with more transparency that's probably even more so," says Hooker.

Here's one you want wait to buy: gift cards. You'll find better deals on gift cards in December.

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