Is Black Friday Worth It? 10 Ways You're Doing Black Friday Wrong

If you're looking for Black Friday deals that are worth your time, you should probably start shopping on Thanksgiving.
Updated
Black Friday Shoe Sale

Are you planning to shop Black Friday sales? Whether you're stocking up on holiday gifts, or just shopping for yourself, you want to make the most of every minute. Get ready for the 2019 sales by avoiding these 10 common Black Friday shopping mistakes.

10 Ways You're Doing Black Friday Wrong

1. You're Skipping Black Friday

Sales happen all the time, no matter the season. Amazon Prime Day, for example, is a huge sale event in the summer. When you get to the fall, Back to school sales and Labor Day sales are impossible to miss. So it's no surprise if you're wondering: is Black Friday really worth it?

This year, Black Friday falls on November 29.

Yes! We can assure you that Black Friday sales are worth shopping. You'll find sales for practically every product category, and it's easy to find your favorite products marked down by 50% or more. Even Apple products — which rarely go on sale — can often be found at around 30% off during Black Friday.

While you shouldn't jump into Black Friday and impulse-buy everything you find, there are some great deals to be found. You just need a good shopping strategy.

2. You're Only Shopping on Black Friday

Everyone talks about Black Friday as if it's only a day, but it's really morphed into a full season. Most sales will start the week of Black Friday and continue right through the next week. During the two weeks around Black Friday in 2018, we saw over 3,000 deals — and about 46% of those deals were among the best prices we'd seen all year.

SEE ALSO: The 9 Best Things to Buy in September (And 10 Things That'll Be Hit by Tariffs)

This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 28, so look for Black Friday sales to start in earnest at the beginning of the week, on November 25. Conversely, expect sales to start slowing down at the end of the following week, on December 6.

3. You're Not Planning for Black Friday in Advance

With so many sales happening, you need a game plan to make the most of Black Friday. Black Friday ads tend to come out between late October and early November. This gives you time to browse the ads and think about how to craft your Black Friday shopping list.

Different days offer different deals. For instance, Thanksgiving has great smartphone sales, but TVs are super cheap on Cyber Monday.

As you make your shopping plans, remember that every day of the Black Friday season tends to offer different deals on different items. Thanksgiving — usually the day with the most sales — is historically a great day to buy smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and shoes.

Black Friday is usually the time to stock up on small aplliances, clothes, toys, and laptops. And Cyber Monday is likely to have the best deals on TV and travel. That doesn't mean you won't find a great TV for sale on Thanksgiving — again, reviewing the Black Friday ads is key.

4. You're Assuming Every Black Friday Deal is a Good Deal

As we said earlier, you can expect thousands of deals to go live during the height of the holiday sales season — but not every Black Friday sale will be good.

Before you add any deal to your cart, do a price check — or focus your shopping on our Staff Picks. Don't just impulsively buy anything sporting a sale sign; do a little research so you can be confident you're getting the best possible price.

5. You're Ignoring Black Friday Doorbuster Deals

A lot of retailers try to tempt you into stores with short-lived sales. These bargains are usually called doorbuster deals because you want to be first in line when the store opens to buy it — and you'll typically only find doorbusters on Black Friday and Thanksgiving.

SEE ALSO: Your Guide to Holiday Discounts in 2019

While it can definitely be a hassle to get out of bed early, doorbuster prices can be worth it. Last year, we saw some fantastic TV doorbuster deals, such as an Element 55" 4K TV for just $200. We also saw a super-sized LG 70" 4K TV for $700. Convenience aside, you'd be hard-pressed to beat the prices of many doorbusters.

6. You're Only Shopping in Stores on Black Friday

While most Black Friday doorbuster deals are only available in stores, the vast majority of general deals during the Black Friday season will be available on retailer websites. If you aren't interested in a doorbuster, there's no need to get out of your pajamas.

When you peruse the Black Friday ads, check out the doorbuster deals and determine whether they'll be in-store only, or can also be found online. Then you can decide whether anyBlack Friday doorbusters are worth getting.

7. You're Not Spending Your Black Friday Gift Cards

A lot of sales during the Black Friday season, particularly sales from Kohl's and Dell, are bundled with gift cards or store credit. You may receive a modest discount on an item, but it'll come with a big gift card. These gift card bundles turn okay deals into fantastic deals — but only if you'll spend the gift cards.

Some Black Friday discounts are just okay, but they're bundled with awesome gift cards.

Before you're tempted by the savings of these bundles, think about whether you'll really use the bundled gift cards. If you won't, you're not really getting the best deal.

8. You're Ignoring Refurbs or Open Box Deals

You can find refurb products anywhere, but eBay, in particular, tends to offer deep discounts on refurbished or open box products for Black Friday.

SEE ALSO: What Does Refurbished Mean?

In many cases, "refurbished" means the product has been repaired to be like new (sometimes even with original packaging). And "open box" products are usually just items that have been returned unused, with the box opened.

Though it's a good idea to double-check the return policy in case you get a dud, these deals are already good — and Black friday sales can make them even better.

9. You're Expecting Free Shipping on Black Friday

Amazon Prime has spoiled us with shipping that's fast and free. But not all stores will offer free shipping for Black Friday. Expect most online retailers to have an order minimum to meet for free shipping, even during the holidays. While some stores will drop this minimum to entice shoppers, others will still require purchase amounts like $100 or more.

If you aren't spending the minimum, consider opting for in-store pickup. Many stores will let you order online and pick up at the nearest store, thus letting you skip shipping costs.

10. You're Expecting Black Friday Price Matching

Every deal hunter loves to pit stores against each other with price matching. Sadly, price matching doesn't always work on Black Friday. Even stores that typically price match may suspend price matching for the Black Friday shopping season. So think of price matching as the exception, rather than the rule during the holidays.

Be sure to check the store's policy before you waste your precious shopping time arguing for a lower price that a retailer just isn't going to give out.


DealNews Contributing Writer

Originally working in IT, Elizabeth now writes on tech, gaming, and general consumer issues. Her articles have appeared in USA Today, Time, AOL, PriceGrabber, and more. She has been one of DealNews' most regular contributors since 2013, researching everything from vacuums to renters insurance to help consumers.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
You might also like
Leave a comment!

or Register