Black Friday is far and away the biggest shopping day of the year, even encroaching on the Thanksgiving holiday. Last year, American shoppers spent a whopping $5 billion on Black Friday alone.
With such big deals and with so many people indulging in Black Friday sales, it’s easy to get carried away and blow your budget. That’s why it’s so important that you be prepared to shop wisely.
5 Black Friday tricks you should know
Retailers are desperate to make you part with your hard-earned money. They rely on retail tricks to convince you to open your wallet when you otherwise wouldn’t spend money. To avoid overspending, here are five Black Friday tricks you should know about.
Brick-and-mortar retailers are competing with giants like Amazon for your business. Their goal is to get you in the door however possible.
One of the most effective ways to do that is to offer “doorbuster” deals: products at such extraordinary deals that even those who don’t normally shop on Black Friday are motivated to visit the store.
But be aware that doorbuster deals are intended solely to get you in the door. If you read the fine print, you’ll often find that the store will only have one or two of the doorbuster deal in the store. They’ll likely sell out by the time you get there.
Retailers think once you’re there, you’re bound to buy something. That means you shouldn’t get your heart set on a doorbuster deal; you likely won’t get it.
2. Steep discounts
Many stores boast steep discounts, especially on electronics like televisions. However, there’s a reason they can offer those discounts. Typically, those deals are on last year’s models. They need to clear inventory to make way for the latest models, so the older ones are severely discounted.
If you don’t mind an older model, you could score a great deal. But, if you want the latest technology, it’s better to wait until the new year.
3. Limited editions
Limited edition sets are a bit of a racket. Often, the items in the set aren’t a “limited edition” at all. They’re the typical items, packaged together and offered as a holiday set. You can often buy the individual items for much less than the set.
This is especially true for toys and makeup sets. They may add one cheap holiday item, but otherwise, you can buy everything else for less.
4. Fake discounts
People are motivated by discounts. Scoring a great deal is a thrill; seeing that you’re getting 75% off encourages you to spend more money.
However, many Black Friday deals are inflated. Retailers will mark up the original price, so that the sale price seems more significant. Be aware that many of the deals you see are much more modest than they appear.
5. One-time only deals
Retailers will say their offering the lowest prices of the year, and that may be true. But, what they don’t tell you is that those prices will likely last throughout the whole holiday season. Stores need to clear winter and holiday inventory to make room for spring items, so will keep the prices steady after Black Friday.
If you wait until after the Black Friday rush, you can likely score the same deals.
Saving money this holiday season
Black Friday shopping can be tempting. You can easily end up spending much more than you intended because of the tricks retailers use. Instead, use these two tricks of your own to stay on track.
Create a list
One of the best ways to avoid spending too much is to come up with a concrete shopping list. Mark down exactly what you want to buy, such as “sweater for dad” or “hair dryer for sister,” and stick to it. By having a list, you can refer to it when you see a great deal. If it’s not on the list, walk away— no matter how great of a deal that Crockpot is.
Before ever entering a store, do some comparison shopping online. You may find that one store offers a better deal than another on items on your list, helping you save money before you even get into the store. Use tools like Google Shopping or PriceGrabber to find the best prices in your area.
By being aware of retailer’s methods and sticking to a shopping list, you can stay on track and within budget.
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