The Local 4 Holiday Shopping Frenzy is a multi-media event for the entire week surrounding Thanksgiving. From your TV screen to your laptop computer to the smart phone in the palm of your hand, you can stay connected with our Tweet Team of shopping experts.
Team Leader Emily Hay of HayThereSocialMedia was tweeting shopping updates all morning on Black Friday and then stopped at the Local 4 Studios to talk to Local 4's Karen Drew on Live in the D. Hay was among the many Metro-Detroiters who hit the stores overnight.
"People were organized and they could find what they needed. And, it didn't seem that inventory ran out, but when it came time to check out, that's when you had to bring your patience," Hay told Local 4 viewers after noticing long checkout lines overnight.
Hay and her team have been tracking holiday bargains all week, and inviting you to be part of the Holiday Shopping Frenzy event.
For the past two years, about 10 women have been sharing the deals, discounts, and advice they have with thousands of Local 4 viewers. The women are all savvy shoppers and have built social media followings through their blogs and websites.
For example, Jackie Harper runs the site FreeIsMyLife.com. While Emily Hay was all about the overnight hours, Harper was more interested in sleeping later and avoiding the crowds. She hit the stores a little later on Black Friday, including the Target store at Northland Mall.
"I did tweet some of the door buster deals," said Harper, but she also noticed the store aisles and store shelves started to clear out as the morning turned into afternoon. "So, I did an Instagram picture of pretty much an empty aisle. So, people like me who like to shop at their leisure, I'm sure they're like, 'Yeah, let's go out to Northland!"
Harper says she also found good deals at the discount stores near the new Meijer in Detroit on 8 Mile and Woodward. She stopped at the Payless Shoes and the Radio Shack and says she racked up some big savings.
While the crowds will ride and fall this weekend, our expert shoppers say there are still plenty of reasons to follow #local4shopping all weekend long on Twitter.
"Actually Cyber Monday has already started, which is crazy! It actually started Thanksgiving Day," said Jackie Harper of FreeIsMyLife.com.
The Tweet Team can help you sort through the Black Friday and Cyber Monday clutter, with our experts sharing their guidance and all the other people out there telling you what kind of deals they see during the marathon shopping weekend.
"We all have inbox overload! Our emails are just saturated. So, a quick way to find out what stores have the best pricing online on Cyber Monday would be to check the hash tag," said Emily Hay of HayThereSocialMedia.
Perks and Precautions
The Local4Shopping hash tag can also pay off on Small Business Saturday. "A lot of small businesses are now embracing social media," said Hay. "It's the small business shopping experience. It's where you get a lot of extras like free hot chocolate and carriage rides."
While perks from retailers are fun, Hay has one word of caution: beware of spammers. She says one spammer sent her a tweet designed to look like it came from Best Buy. It was not from Best Buy. Hay says if the site doesn't have a lot of followers, or if the tweets sound awkward, then you might be looking at a spammer. Do not click on any suspicious links.
"Keep in mind, even though these retailers are talking to you, you'll have to do your homework and make sure it is the actual retailer," warned Emily Hay of HayThereSocialMedia.
So, keep following #local4shopping all weekend long and enjoy the frenzy yourself!