Black Friday, the annual retail event where shoppers hit the stores around Thanksgiving to get great deals, has been popular ever since its inception. It never fails: when the end of November rolls around, people start planning their early morning shopping trips, scouring ads, and deciding which of their credit cards to max out for the sake of buying deeply discounted electronics, appliances, and toys. The problem: a large part of the population still believes common myths about Black Friday that may actually end up costing them more money and hassles in the long run. Here are ten of the top Black Friday myths that you should avoid falling for.
1. You’ve got to go into the store to get the best bargains.
Unless you’re trying to get a certain doorbuster deal, you should check online to see if the same item is available at the in-store price. For one, you’ll avoid the shopping crowds, which are never any fun to deal with. You’ll also avoid having to wake up super early just to get your hands on merchandise, which is also something that very few shoppers want to do.
2. The sales start on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Retailers are rolling out Black Friday sales earlier and earlier, and you may miss some sales if you only plan to shop after the Thanksgiving holiday. In some cases, you can shop a week before Thanksgiving and get the same bargains that those who go on the day after will see. Though many of the best deals occur on Thanksgiving and the day after, be on the lookout for stores that are starting the shopping event early.
3. You should just go online to get that item you really want — it’s so much easier.
While it’s true that now you can often get the same items for the same price online as in-store on Black Friday, that doesn’t mean it will be easier. Not only do servers get overwhelmed and retailer websites crash during Black Friday, but it’s common for stores to stagger their sales online.
For instance, electronics may be on sale from 6am to 9am, while toy deals could go from 12pm to 2pm — online shoppers often find themselves constantly checking websites to get items before they sell out online. Is shopping at home more convenient? Yes, if you don’t want to get dressed and drive to the store. Does shopping online during Black Friday mean you’ll automatically get the items you want? Absolutely not.
4. Be prepared to fight in the stores, otherwise you won’t get the deals you want.
While it’s definitely true that every year shoppers are injured or even killed because of the Black Friday rush or an altercation inside the stores, it doesn’t happen as often as the media would have you believe. You should always be careful when out and about during the shopping frenzy. However, odds are if an item sells out people will simply go home or pick up something else rather than start a riot.
5. You’ve got to pick up all the ads you can, otherwise you’ll miss the deals.
Because there are so many things put up for sale on Black Friday, most retailers don’t even have the ad space to list everything that’s going to be part of a deal. For instance, while a store may list its major electronics and most popular small appliances, there could be a slew of kitchenware and tools on sale in-store that aren’t listen in the traditional ads. Then there are the online retailers like Amazon that don’t even have ads at all, and Black Friday ads are always subject to change. The earlier an ad is put out, the more likely it is to not have all of a retailer’s deals listed.
6. Don’t even bother with Cyber Monday, it’s just a bunch of left over junk from Black Friday.
Cyber Monday was traditionally set aside so people could get deals similar to the ones offered during Black Friday online. While there is some carryover from the sales the Monday after Thanksgiving, more often than not they’re entirely different sales with highly sought after items. If you’re looking for electronics, movies, games, and digital media, it’s best to take notice of what will be on offer for Cyber Monday.
7. You’re not going to see the so-called hottest toys of the season on Black Friday.
What’s true is that the hottest toys are available on Black Friday, but usually in-store and in very limited numbers. If your child really wants a super popular toy and you’re willing to brave the crowds to get it, you’ll need to plan to be at the store bright and early. Certain retailers, such as Amazon, also put their hottest toys online for brief periods of time during Black Friday.
8. You won’t find designer and high end brands during Black Friday.
This is one of the most widely believed Black Friday myths that’s simply untrue. Go check out any outlet store, and you’ll find tons of deals on Black Friday from places such as Saks OFF 5th, Neiman Marcus, and other high end retailers. Even Apple stores have their own Black Friday deals and sales during the shopping event.
9. Doorbusters are just a bunch of poor quality items to get people into the stores.
It’s not always the case that no name, odd, and off-brand items are a retailer’s featured doorbuster. You can find high end electronics, popular movies and music, televisions from major brands, and more as part of a doorbuster deal. Stores will typically clearly list their doorbusters online a few days prior to Black Friday, so read those ads carefully before you get sucked in and rush out to buy doorbuster items.
10. Black Friday is ruining Thanksgiving.
This is true if you allow it to ruin your Thanksgiving. If someone values going shopping as opposed to spending time with family and friends, that’s on them. For the retailers’ part, the ones that open on Thanksgiving day usually do so after 5pm. Those who want top pick of the deals but also want family time during the holiday can opt not to shop on Thanksgiving and still get great bargains during the rest of Black Friday.