We’re just a few days away from Black Friday, a day where eager shoppers line up, sometimes even camp out, hours ahead of time in an attempt to save money on their Christmas purchases. Many retailers open shop on Thursday evening and feature many of the hottest electronics, DVDs, video games and more on sale. But are the deals as good as the ads make them out to be?
Here’s 5 things you should know about Black Friday.
1. Most Sale Items Are “Off Brand”
The best deals might not be the name brand items you’ve been wanting. But are off-brand items really inferior to the name brands? It depends on what you are buying. For example, off-brand televisions often have fewer HDMI ports and lower quality screens.
Search for reviews of the product online to determine the quality of the item. Retailers post the bargains online before Black Friday, giving you plenty of time to research the products before purchasing. While saving money is important, the last thing you want is to make a big purchase and it only works for a few months.
2. Black Friday Isn’t Always The Best Day To Shop
Sure, most stores have some killer deals on Black Friday, but is it the best day to save on your holiday gift purchases? No, it’s not. According to some experts, the best day to find good deals for the holidays last year was on December 18th.
Waiting until a week before Christmas isn’t an ideal situation for anyone, but don’t feel like you have to go shopping on Black Friday, or Thanksgiving evening, in order to find a good deal.
3. Look For Free Shipping
This year, stores such as Best Buy and Sam’s Club are offering many of the same “killer deals” online that they are offering in the store.
If you are shopping online, look for retailers that offer free shipping. Some brick and mortar stores offer free shipping while others offer free in-store pickup. If shipping the items to your house costs money, choose to pick it up at the store. Shipping costs, while not terribly expensive, add up and can negate any savings you’ve made.
4. Nothing Is As It Seems
According to the NerdWallet report, some stores hike up the original price of the item to make it look like you are getting a better deal than you actually are. Conduct some research before you shop and compare the items that you are planning on purchasing at several different stores. This will give you a more accurate idea of how good of a deal you are getting.
Additionally, the NerdWallet report discovered that some of the “deals” offered on Black Friday are actually offered throughout the year.
5. Black Friday Starts November 1
Black Friday is no longer just Thursday evening and Friday mornings. In an effort to outdo the competition, many retailers are offering discounts throughout the month. Amazon, for instance, launched its “Black Friday” deals at the beginning of November. Best Buy started rolling out Black Friday deals early as well.
Additionally, the Monday following Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday, has become a day to find good discounts online on holiday favorites.
We’re all always looking for ways to save money, especially during the holidays. Be careful and do research before you make the purchase. Make sure you are actually getting a good deal on the item and that the quality of the product is good.
Speaking of Black Friday, visit comfedcu.org on Thursday for special Communication Federal Credit Union Black Friday deals.
How do you save money on holiday gift shopping? Post your ideas in the comments below.