Black Friday shopping: Facts, how to save money, and avoid bad deals
The day after Thanksgiving is popularly known to us as Black Friday. The day is also unofficially considered as the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Particularly at this moment every year, most of the stores come up with groundbreaking offers on their every product. To attract customers, they offer heavy discounts for a limited time. For this reason, customers stand in queues for hours even before the stores open. Consumers become crazy to grab the bargains. For consumers who’re looking for great bargains, holidays are the biggest shopping festival for them in the whole year. This is what the Black Friday is all about.
Since last several years, precisely from 2013, Black Friday Sales have started much before Friday. Some stores opened their gates way before time, maybe they started from Monday itself; and, most of the stores start their sales from Thanksgiving Day.
Black Friday is the biggest festival of shopping in the nation; not only retail consumers but also online shoppers shop via computers and mobile devices.
Facts you need to know as a shopper
- As per a report published by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, there was an increase of 14% in 2019 from 2018.
- According to research, middle-class consumers are capable of paying their dues on time rather than the elite class. As per a survey report by Harris Poll for NerdWallet.com, high-class families with an income between $50,000 to $75,000 are highly vulnerable to Black Friday debts. Consumers normally take a longer time to pay off their holiday bills, which is two months on average.
- As per data compiled by Adobe Analytics, in 2019, Black Friday shoppers spent around $7.4 billion online, thus making it the second-largest shopping day ever.
- Report says Black Friday deals are not so hot if you compare the prices with the old ones. After researching the ads of several big retailers, it’s clear that approximately 90% of the listed sale prices are the same as the previous year’s Black Friday offers.
The experts predict that this year, the spending will be slightly down due to the pandemic situation. And, most shopping will be done from Amazon and Walmart, thereby Amazon scoring a little more. The online Black Friday sales began much earlier this year, the reason might be that the shoppers prefered mostly to buy online.
How to save money on Black Friday shopping
Here are a few ways you can save on your Black Friday shopping.
Do your research and homework
Pay attention to advertisements and special offers. Go to your favorite store and inquire about coming offers and deals. Go through the websites of those stores, and make notes of the best deals.
You will come to know a lot about the Black Friday sales once the newspaper on Thanksgiving Day arrives. But the same information is available online ahead of time.
Information about the Black Friday sales is available on websites like BlackFridayAds.comand ShopLocal.com Black Friday Shopping Guide. You will find the date and time of any update to the website and they also offer e-mail alerts.
So, you will know about the better deals which will help you save money in the long run.
Prepare a budget for buying
Decide how much you intend to spend. Know your limits, and as soon as you reach your limits, stop buying. Try to use cash instead of using credit cards; it’ll prevent your credit buying habits. It’ll be easier for you to say “No” if you see you’ve no money left!
Don’t carry a large amount in your wallet while going shopping. If you require a big amount to buy a lot, carry your credit card. But, make sure you make the repayment plans before making a big-ticket purchase.
Control your impulses, control purchases
List the names for whom you need to buy gifts maybe for Christmas, and then purchase specific items. Don’t buy things that aren’t required. Also, don’t add unnecessary people to the list.
Plan your shopping
Once you know which shops are providing the best deals, you should start planning which shops are worth a Black Friday visit. Don't spend the whole day driving from one destination to another.
You should plan in such a way that you're able to visit multiple stores under one roof so that you can avoid a lot of driving and parking.
Start shopping early
It is always better to find the marketplace/shops as early as possible. If you're late, then you will have to stand in the long queues and you may even lose the best deals. Experts opine that the shoppers avoid Black Friday and shop on Thanksgiving Day.
Ask friends to accompany you
If your friend accompanies you to shopping, you will find that shopping will become enjoyable and manageable. You can even ask a group of friends to accompany you. They can help you in checking out the lanes or snatch up bargains for you.
However, make sure you go with friends who don’t encourage you to splurge much.
Track your costs
While shopping, it is easy to use credit cards for paying bills instead of using cash. But you need to use your cards strategically; don't use it just for getting the extra miles or some rewards.
Think about the overall scenario. In the end, you'll have to pay off the bill along with the interest to the credit card company if you can’t repay the entire amount within the next due date of payment. The total amount you pay off may be way bigger than the rewards you'll probably get.
So, it's not worth it to use credit cards too much for Thanksgiving or Black Friday shopping. Use credit cards only when you’re buying a huge quantity of products or out of cash.
However, if you’re already dealing with credit card debt problems, then you can take the help of a settlement program to get rid of your past dues fast.
Think before any upgrade
You might be thinking about buying a new 50″ LED TV, and when you’ve seen the Black Friday ads, you’ve picked one deal with an offer that can help you save $400 for the same TV you want.
Don't do that.
First, think, do you really need it? $400 is not a small amount, but is it really justified to spend money on a new TV just to get the discount? Saving that $400 is not a reason to upgrade your small TV to the 50″ and pay off the whole price of that TV with credit cards. If you really want to buy a good TV, make sure you buy the perfect size at the perfect price that can be affordable for you. This is what Black Fridays is all about.
Shop on Cyber Monday
Shopping on Cyber Monday has become a new trend for the past few years. Also, this is one of the busiest days for online shopping. Good discounts are available on this day. Apart from that, online shopping on Cyber Monday means you will get free shipping, free gifts, rebates, and other tempting deals.
Treat your shopping as cash deals
Black Friday deals can be good, as long as you pay small purchases using cash. Never use credit cards while buying a few goods. Try to pay off the bills before the end of the promotional period. If you don't, you're going to pay more than your bills with the added interest.
Don’t be confused over the deals
This is a very common problem, which people always experience while making the shopping list. One store is offering a flat 50% discount if you buy over $200, but another store is giving 60% off if you cross $350.
So, what are you gonna do with that? Which one is better? Is it better to spend more to get more or spend little? What if you bought everything and now you’ve only $150 left in cash? Then you might be using your credit card probably.
Is it worth it?
Spending more than what you planned just to grab the deals is not good for your finances. Stay calm and save while spending less.
Read the fine print
Always read the offer booklet before buying anything. There are some fine prints on the promotional banners and ads, too. If you don’t read them, you may miss out on some significant clauses regarding that offer.
Suppose you want to buy a toaster worth $45 and the given offer is - get 2 toasters at a time only for $80. If you want to grab that offer, you must read the fine prints prior to the purchase. It may happen that the offered products cover less warranty period than the product you buy without the offer price.
So, check out all the hidden terms and conditions before opting for any offer in this Black Friday shopping. It may happen that while getting discounts you actually incur a loss.
Don’t consider the price more than the value
When you are getting some amazing deals, it is important that you keep focusing on the value rather than just price. Sometimes, we become impulsive and start shopping without focusing on our true motive. It may cause us to gather commodities to the shopping cart that we don’t even require.
In the future, while you pick up anything at the store, think wisely, is this what you’re looking for (for yourself or any person) today? Or it’ll be just tossed to the back of your drawer to be forgotten. If you’ve no use for that particular thing, then why are you wasting your dollars for such a trivial thing? If it has zero value to you, don’t buy it.
Black Friday - Avoid 4 bad deals to be a savvy shopper
It is certainly true that consumers can get good deals on Black Friday. Previous pricing trends show that consumers get some items at a good price during the Black Friday weekend. However, certain items are completely bad deals. Consumers should avoid purchasing those items on Black Friday.
Check out the 4 essential items which you should consider before purchasing on Black Friday.
1. Laptops: The best price for a laptop is available in mid-December. Retailers offer laptops at a low price during that time. The price is 20% less than the average price during the festive season. If you can afford to wait a little bit longer, then purchase laptops in January. You’ll get an even better price.
2. Non-branded television:Electronic retailers offer televisions at a super-low price during Black Friday weekend. Consumers visit the stores and purchase televisions. What consumers don’t realize in their shopping frenzy is that they’re actually purchasing non-branded televisions. Retailers promote non-branded televisions aggressively. They often tell consumers not to go for branded items. Some consumers blindly believe the words uttered by retailers and end up purchasing non-branded televisions.
Don't be fooled by the attractive advertisements. There is a hidden agenda behind every advertisement. Buy a branded television by spending an extra $50 or $100.
3. Toys and games:The best time to purchase toys is during the weeks before Christmas. It is not that you'll get toys at a very high price on Black Friday. It is just that the price of goods will fall further during Christmas. If your child really wants to buy a branded toy on Black Friday, then don't wait till Christmas. The popular toys may be sold out by then.
4. Household appliances:The web and print world are flooded with advertisements on household appliances. You'll see advertisements of television, washing machines, refrigerators, and several other electronic items. If you’re planning to purchase small appliances, then try to shop prior to Black Friday. You can even purchase small appliances post Black Friday.
For instance, you can get the best price on vacuum cleaners during the week preceding Black Friday. The price of vacuum cleaners is almost 14% less during this time. You’re less likely to get this price in the remaining season.
There are a few products that you can purchase after Black Friday to get a good deal. For example, you can get microwaves at an excellent price in mid-December. You can get as much as a 10% discount on them.
Your motto should be to grab good deals on Black Friday. So, spend your money wisely on this mega shopping event. Don’t purchase anything which you'll regret in the future. And, keep in mind your budget while shopping during Black Friday
However, if you incur credit card debts that you can’t pay off, seek suitable debt relief options to repay your dues and manage your financial life properly.