Are The Deals Really That Great?
Everyone loves getting a good deal when they go shopping. Especially me. I’m guilty of spending too much time analyzing the cost of items before I go buy them. It’s a habit that I just can’t shake, and one many American’s can’t either.
Companies know this about us and have worked hard to create an entire day themed around you getting a great deal. Black Friday.
One of my favorite things to do on this site it to debunk money myths or provide tips on how to save more when buying things. It’s clear my readers like this too seeing as ‘YoungMoney Top 10 Shopping Hacks’ is the most read article I’ve published. With Black Friday a week away, I thought I’d write a short something talking about how people way overspend on Black Friday and what to avoid if you are planning to shop.
What To Avoid On Black Friday
(1) Thinking Everything Is A Great Deal
All the “Sale!” signs are mesmerizing when you walk into a store and it excites you as you start sifting through all the items. Department stores know this about you and in some cases run their entire business model off of always having a sale. Macy’s is the store that pops into my mind when I think of this.
Some of the deals you could probably get for the same price or even cheaper at other times during the year. For example, many retailers put lots of time into marketing their “top deals” for the day. They get you in the door with a great deal on a 50-inch TV for $199 (One of Walmart’s deals this year), but only carry a select amount of them. They then turn around and have hundreds of other TV’s for only slightly more money. But the truth is that they the other TV’s for slightly more really aren’t on sale at all. They’re the same price you could get them for at anytime.
In fact, according to a 2014 study by NerdWallet:
A whopping 93% of stores surveyed are offering customers year-old products for the same “discount” that was offered last year, according to a recent study from NerdWallet. While that may not be a huge issue for things like furniture and cookware, it does matter when it comes to tech and electronics that can be outdated or of poorer quality.
The point is that you should make sure you research prices before blindly believing everything on Black Friday is a good deal.
(2) Not Making A Budget Or Knowing What You Need
Black Friday gives many people an excuse to spend wildly. They think to themselves, “There will never be a better deal“, and rack up their credit card. Some people don’t even need or want to buy anything, but choose to purchase something just because there is a sale on it. All I can say is that if you are planning to Black Friday shop and don’t want to go overboard, plan out your budget in advance. Stick to it so you don’t end up with a bunch of junk you don’t really need. Falling into the trap of buying things you didn’t intend to is what the stores are hoping you’ll do.
(3) Doing All Your Shopping Through Amazon
I know everyone loves Amazon. People openly admit they go straight to Amazon for all their needs and don’t bother to check with any other retailers. This goes back to assuming everything is a great deal. I wanted to touch on Amazon specifically because I too am guilty of going straight to it for my needs. Amazon makes it so easy, doesn’t it? Not always.
Amazon has come up with the fantastic idea of placing time constraints on buying their deal items. The item is only on sale at that price for a limited amount of time. They trick you into buying something and make you feel great for acting quick enough to get the deal.
This makes it hard to cross shop other websites and see if another retailer has something for cheaper. This again builds upon the mistake of not knowing in advance what you’re looking to buy. If you do your research, chances are you’ll already know in advance if Amazon’s limited 3o minute sale window is really a better deal.
(4) Not Knowing What Items Are Always Poorly Priced
There are some well known items that are never a great buy on Black Friday.
- Airline Deals – Flight deals are the cheapest during the month of January. January is known for having the best travel deals.
- Most Recent Game Consoles (Currently Xbox One S and PS4 Pro) – The deals on these won’t compare to how low they’ll be this time next year. Check out deals on a standard Xbox One or PS4 instead. They really aren’t all that different.
- Gift Cards – Bundle deals on these are everywhere in the store on Black Friday. Wait until closer to Christmas when they’ll historically be even cheaper.
- Winter Clothing – Jackets, hoodies, long sleeves – they’re all cheaper in the month of January or over summer.
(5) Buying Low Quality Items Just Because Their Cheap
ConsumerWorld.org makes an excellent point regarding this: “A low price on a lousy product is no bargain.” Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good buy. Take for example the many TV deals offered on Black Friday. Just because you can get a $200 50-inch TV doesn’t mean it will be great. The speakers may be poor, the pixel quality may suck, or the thing may not work after a period of time. Just make sure you know what you’re buying.
Don’t sign up for a bunch of credit cards! I talked about this in my article last week on Credit Mistakes. Stores get huge spikes in credit card sign ups on Black Friday with so many customers in the store combined with offering discounts if you sign up. Just do the math on this. 20% off isn’t worth having a new credit card to worry about that you didn’t need.
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See you next week! I will most likely publish in advance next week of Thanksgiving.