Most people shop on Black Friday. In fact, a recent study showed around 86.4% of consumers plan to purchase sale items this year. However, I won’t be one of them.
There are a few big reasons why I’m skipping the shopping extravaganza instead of giving my credit cards a workout.
One of the biggest reasons I’m opting out of Black Friday shopping is because the entire process has become too overwhelming. Many stores don’t offer special deals solely on the day after Thanksgiving any more. They have weeks of early Black Friday sales.
Trying to navigate all of that, figuring out which deals are good and bad, and who has the best price over multiple weeks of sales is just stressful and too time consuming. I’d rather use my time to do other things with my money that make a bigger financial impact than saving a few dollars on consumer goods.
There’s another important reason why I’m opting out: The deals often aren’t even that great.
In fact, research has shown that more than 90% of Black Friday “deals” were actually sold either at the same price or lower just six months prior. While this research was conducted in the U.K., it included major international retailers such as Amazon and there’s every reason to believe the same about so-called deals in the U.S. — especially as some older data confirmed many of the bargains are exaggerated.
Some stores also sell derivative products, which are scaled-down versions of an item that don’t have all of the features.
With such a high likelihood of actually getting a bad deal, I’m simply not interested — especially since taking time to research which ones are legit would be a huge time suck with potentially little payout for my personal finances.
Finally, I’m opting out of Black Friday because even if there’s a good deal on a new product, it’s still cheaper to buy used items.
Most of the stuff I need to purchase for the holidays are toys for my children. And since kids outgrow toys pretty quickly, there’s a huge used market for them. There are several big consignment sales in my area, and of course garage sales are full of baby and toddler toys. I shop throughout the year to get these items at rock-bottom prices that are way lower than new items would cost on Black Friday.
Even items like electronic and video game systems are treated as disposable by many people in today’s world as prices have come down. There are tons of gently used items only a year or two old that are for sale on sites like Craigslist and Facebook marketplace since people update their tech so frequently.
These items are just a model or two behind the current one, and often have most of the features and benefits at a fraction of the price, and they’re fine for me.
Now, if you need certain big-ticket items, want to spend the time researching deals, or do love to get the latest gear, shopping on Black Friday may be something you should do. Just be careful to make sure that the “deals” you’re getting are legitimate by taking the time to research the model number, read reviews, and check recent prices so you don’t waste the hard-earned money in your checking account.
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The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Christy Bieber has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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