If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering: Is Black Friday worth it?
There’s a lot of hype surrounding Black Friday, the big sale day in the US, where retailers promise crazy doorbusters, the best sales of the season, and huge discounts.
As a child, my fellow classmates would camp out outside Walmart from the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the doors to open so that they can grab their $10 TV’s…
Now, stores open as early as Thanksgiving afternoon, disrupting family dinners and causing even more of a grand scramble. So the question remains – is it worth it?
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
When is Black Friday Worth It?
Despite what my intro might make you think, I’m a huge believer in Black Friday. You just have to know how to do it right.
Here are my key pointers as far as making Black Friday save you money and NOT cost you time, energy, aggravation, and more than you had planned to spend.
The house always wins.
Yep, that is true for gambling, and true for Black Friday as well. So if a store is advertising something very unusually cheap (read: that $100 Mac) it’s to get you in the door. There is just so many they are going to sell at a loss like that, and they are relying on everyone else like you buying out the only-slightly-reduced merchandise in the store.
The real deals are online as well.
Yes, you heard me. Major Black Friday retailers, such as Walmart, Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s have amazing deals online. No camping out. No mad rush. No crowded, messy aisles. Sit at home in your PJ’s at your leisure and get the same deals. That’s how I do it.
You also won’t be getting the ridiculous doorbusters, but you’re probably not getting those anyway. And it’s much easier to NOT overspend when you don’t have the pressure and the action around you.
You save the most when you keep the $$ in your wallet.
Yep, the hype can cause you to buy things you really didn’t want or need. Even if it’s 90% off, if you don’t need it, you’ll be that 10% richer not buying it, right? Right.
So how is Black Friday worth it despite all these truths?
For me, the trick is to figure out what exactly I want in advance, and scout out the best deals online. I shop via an online rebate website (such as Ebates or Giving Assistant) so that I cash out even more.
Many brands really do have their best sales of the year on Black Friday since the competition is so stiff then, and people are shopping.
A Case study on how good Black Friday really is:
Case in point: I had this camera lens and it was a lifesaver for the blog. Then I dropped it and it broke. Black Friday, I found it for $90 at Best Buy and Amazon. The going rate is $125 – it’s one of those things that are pretty static in price across the board.
I couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money considering it had broken due to my own negligence.
So why was I shopping for it in the first place if I wasn’t satisfied with such an amazing deal?
I think I had this vision in my head of the crazy doorbusters. Deep down, I was hoping to find it somewhere for $10. Or even $30…
The truth is? I needed the lens, so I bought it a few months later for the full price. Only now has it gone back on sale, and not nearly that low.
A 3 Step Plan to making Black Friday worth it:
- Decide what you want to buy in advance.
- Compare prices across several retailers.
- Shop online only.
So whether you are looking for things you need anyway (anyone see a good deal on a hard drive anywhere?) or you’re trying to tackle that holiday gift list, you can make Black Friday worth it!
So , what do you think? Is black Friday worth it?
Check here for an updating list of Black Friday 2016 deals – I will be adding to it and fixing it as the day goes on. Good luck and happy shopping!
(Note: many stores haven’t allowed their deals to be released in advance, so the list above will only be linked from midnight, Nov. 25) Check back in!!