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For many, Black Friday is the official launch of the holiday shopping season. For retailers, this notorious non-holiday is the busiest shopping day of the year with many stores earning, the majority of their annual sales revenue during the next month. In 2017, holiday sales totaled a whopping $691.9 billion between November and December.
According to Adobe, Black Friday alone contributed $7.9 billion to that amount in just online sales. Between the undeniable holiday spirit and impressive price slashing, it is easy to get swept up in the Black Friday buzz.
But before you start swiping your card, is Black Friday the most bang for your buck?
Discounts, Doorbusters, and Deceit- Oh my.
In a survey conducted by NerdWallet, 65% of American shoppers aren’t sure if they are getting the best deals during the holiday season. It’s a fair question.
Are prices actually lower?
The answer-yes. On average, in-store discounts fall around the 20 percent off range the week of Thanksgiving, and rise to roughly a 37 percent savings on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Online Black Friday deals follow suit with an average 34 percent discount.
In short; yes, Black Friday offers elevated discounts than the average shopping day.
Often times, this is not your only chance to score major savings. Due to the rigorous competition on Black Friday, many companies have opted to offer a series of sales leading up to Black Friday. Amazon, Best Buy, and J.C. Penny, have offered Black Friday worthy discounts in the weeks preceding the infamous shopping day.
Your best bet to save on holiday shopping… research. If you have specific big-ticket items on your list, look into what days offer the steepest discounts for certain items and what sales are planned throughout the shopping season. This can land you the best deals and lowest prices.
Splashed across all of the red and green glistening Black Friday sales ads, you’ll find savings that seem a little too good to be true; Otherwise known as doorbusters.
The promise of steep savings on the best items is enough to draw millions of Americans out bright and early to retailers across the country. However, these items always come in short supply-with only a limited handful of products per store. If you are one of the lucky ones, these savings are undeniably beneficial to your holiday budget.
For better odds of saving money, focus on online doorbusters. These deals will warrant a larger supply with the same impressive savings that will help you stay within your holiday budget.
The overall goal of Black Friday is to shop smartly and save big. However, there are sneaky ploys used by retailers that can lead you astray. Although Black Friday sales will save you a portion off of your total, the compare at costs and percentage off are sometimes inflated.
A 2016 study by NerdWallet found that several stores were guilty of inflating discount amounts in order to make deals seem more appealing. For example, Harbor Freight reported that one of their ladders was on sale for $115 on Black Friday with a compare at price of $209.99 in 2015. Then, in 2016, the same ladder was listed for $99.99; but, the compare at price was listed as $357.99 and a previous price of $139.99. These costs are misleading consumers into believing they are receiving a larger discount than they actually are.
Overall, scouting out Black Friday sales can help you save money on your holiday shopping list; when executed properly. Also, take some time this holiday season to consider giving the gift of financial security. Instead of braving the crowds and the cold, get your loved one a life insurance policy, or contribute to a child’s 529 plan. An advisor at