Black Friday Breakdown: Should You Sleep in or Shop Until You Drop?
Most of us wait all year for the shopping deals that Black Friday boasts. But is it really worth heading out at the crack of dawn to brave the crowds on the day after Thanksgiving? Or are those “doorbusters” just a way to get you to part with your hard-earned money? Would you be better off to stay in bed, instead of getting in line at the register?
We’re busting the 11 most common Black Friday myths to find out!
Let’s take a look at the assumptions that we all have about the year’s most famous “shopping holiday,” including whether or not the best deals can be found in-store or online, and even the rumors that circulate about having to fight off other shoppers to score the best deals on the season’s hottest gifts.
Black Friday Sales Start on Black Friday
Retailers are proving to customers that there are more days to shop than Black Friday alone by spreading out the offered deals. Some of the biggest and best deals of the season can be found as early as a week before Thanksgiving. Amazon and Best Buy, for example, both have “early access” deals for their customers, usually beginning on the first day of Thanksgiving week. Having said that, most of the best deals tend to start on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or on the day of the holiday itself.
Shopping in the Store is Always Better
Although there are doorbuster deals that can only be found in-store, and being there in person to shop is a better way to get your hands on your shopping list items quickly, there are still many elements that make online shopping the better choice.
Online stores never close, making it possible to shop at any time. Plus, many online retailers like Amazon have begun to price-match in the recent years, in order to compete with the big-box stores like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target. This has urged those stores into making their doorbuster deals available online, as well as in-store, to help them stay competitive.
Shopping Online is Always Easier
On the flip side of the coin, online shopping also has some downsides. You can find yourself feeling as if you’re tethered to your computer, since online deals go active or inactive throughout the day. You might also find yourself faced with the frustration of a website that’s crashed from too many visitors. And some online deals will just plain old sell out before you can place your order. But then again, you can still do almost all of your shopping in your PJs when doing it all online – a definite plus, for many of us!
You Have to Fight to Get the Best Deals
If you find yourself avoiding Black Friday shopping due to the stories about it being a full-contact sport, it might be time to reconsider. True, there are news stories every year about someone being hurt during Black Friday due to the crowd losing all sense of decency. But that doesn’t mean that you have to don armor just to make it out alive. Black Friday fights and injuries are actually incredibly rare. We just happen to see the worst of it, thanks to media sensationalism. Of course, there’s always a chance for chaos when you get that many deals in front of that many crowds, but the chance of it becoming physically dangerous is definitely on the very low side.
All Black Friday Deals Are Found in the Ads
Depending on the store, you can typically expect to find more deals than just what is offered in the Black Friday circular ads. Heck, there are some stores that don’t even run advertisements for Black Friday. And this means that there are tons of deals to be had out there that you won’t be able to make note of beforehand through traditional means like TV commercials or newspaper inserts.
Cyber Monday = Black Friday Leftovers
Although this online shopping holiday can have some carryover deals from Black Friday, it’s typically made up of store sales that are brand-new. This helps draw in new shoppers that didn’t partake in the Black Friday madness, and gives stores a chance to offer more of the top-tier picks from various website Editors’ Choice articles than we typically see on Black Friday alone.
Black Friday Doesn’t Include High-End Brands
Penny pinchers rejoice! You can actually find some significant savings on luxury items on Black Friday – especially from premium outlet stores. Brands like Neiman Marcus, Barney’s, and Saks 5th Avenue all offer some pretty sweet deals on their outlet store products.
And if you’re in the market for an Apple product, you can find some great deals at third-party retailers like Best Buy and Walmart on Black Friday, even though the Apple Store itself isn’t offering any mind-blowing sales on the season’s hottest tech products.
Black Friday Doesn’t Include the Season’s Hottest Toys
While many of the season’s most popular toys are on sale, they get snapped up pretty quickly, as you can imagine. Due to these types of deals coming and going so fast, your best bet is to grab them when you have the chance. If you see one of the “Fab 15” from Toys “R” Us go on sale on Black Friday, for example, don’t think twice – grab that deal!
Black Friday Is Destroying the Family Thanksgiving
We've been hearing it for years now: Black Friday is ruining Thanksgiving. People are afraid that it’s endangering the amount of time we spend with our families during the holiday season, and promoting materialism over family values.
In reality, many retailers are recognizing the importance of family time during this time of year and are adjusting their schedules and sales accordingly. Many stores are choosing to stay closed for the holiday, and only offer online deals, while others aren’t opening until later in the day, when they know that families have finished with their dinner and bonding.
Many people view doorbuster deals as stores offering junky “off-brand” items that nobody really wants in an effort to get people in the door. And who can really blame them for thinking that? But the reality is that Black Friday fare is expanding to include better quality items, including what they offer in their doorbusters – most likely because that's the kind of merchandise that's a greater pull for shoppers. Brands like Lenovo and Dell are replacing no-names brands. And high-end items, like gaming laptops and 4K TVs, are now being offered in doorbuster promotions.
Every Black Friday Deal is a Steal
Sorry to say, but this just isn’t true. Whether you’re a savvy shopper or not, many Black Friday sales are beginning to include “filler” items, and fewer and fewer deals are as notable as they once were. Many retailers are using the truly awesome bargains to give their shoppers a “high” that persuades them to keep shopping – and then marking up the other items in the store to make up any loss from the sale.
The bottom line on Black Friday? Do your research! Know when and where the real deals are by checking prices beforehand to make sure that you’re actually saving yourself time and money. Otherwise, you might just be better off to sleep in on the morning after Thanksgiving, and doing your holiday shopping when the crowds aren’t so thick.