UPDATED: Are Black Friday Deals Worth It?

Image Credit:

With Black Friday coming up in two weeks, I’ve noticed some articles around the web asking if Black Friday deals are worth the lines and hassle or if you can get good deals other days. Below are recaps of a few of the articles I’ve found that I think may be of interest to you.

Yes, You Really Are Seeing the Same Black Friday Deals Every Year

When you see the Black Friday ads, do they seem familiar? If so, there’s a reason for that. Brad’s Deals did a side-by-side comparison of Black Friday circulars and, in some cases, they are look nearly identical from year to year.

The article states:

Black Friday has an entire mythology built up around it. “These prices are too good to miss. You’ll never see a price that low again. Get it before it’s gone!” And yet the clear message that emerged from our research is that the Black Friday deal is rarely your only shot. In fact, those low prices aren’t just repeated annually, but in some cases are found several times throughout the year.

The big takeaway is something anyone who’s been around the block a few times with Black Friday probably already suspected: Black Friday not your last chance for these deals – not by a long shot. And if you missed a Black Friday deal? Just wait a few months. It’ll probably be back sooner than you think.

They then proceed to show ads from 2012, 2013 and 2014 for Target and 2013 and 2014 for Walmart, Sears, Toys-R-Us, Bon-Ton and Kohl’s. They showed the doorbuster deals page of the ads (which look almost exactly the same from year to year) and mentioned several sale item repeats with prices. So can you learn from this?

It’s hard not to see Black Friday for what it is: a lot of hype about deals that often return again and again throughout the year. It doesn’t mean that Black Friday deals are bad, only that they’re not always so special as retail propaganda would have you believe. Once you know that, the urgency is gone, leaving you in a better position to make a more clear-headed buying decision.

For the full article from Brad’s Deals, with the side by side comparisons and the list of repeat deals, click here.

Is Black Friday Still Worth Waiting For?

Next we go to RetailMeNot. They said that more and more people aren’t waiting for Black Fridays and are buying their Christmas gifts early. In a survey, 85% of consumers think that retailers will start their holiday promotions before Black Friday. However, data still suggests that retailers offer deeper discounts between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday then are offered in the weeks prior.

On average, the deepest discounts on electronics and computers will be found between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday into the first week of December. What shouldn’t you put off buying? Toys. They say “savvy consumers know that discounts are to be had in certain early holiday retail categories like toys, home decor and apparel.”

Besides, if you wait too long to purchase toys, there might not be much inventory for you to choose from. I know that from experience! However, if you aren’t picky about the toys you get you might find some really good deals on toys after Black Friday, since retailers want to get rid of inventory.

Another suggestion they make is:

In late-period shopping, that is, post-Cyber Monday through the end of the year, items like discounted gift cards represent tremendous savings opportunities. In what we call the triple play of savings, consumers can purchase discounted gift cards, apply coupons to that purchase and then use a cash-back credit card to extend their savings even further.

For the full press release from RetailMeNot, click here.

10 Things NOT to Buy on Black Friday

You will see lists all over the place about what not to buy on Black Friday. Here is the 2015 list from DealNews:

  1. Smartphones
  2. Home & Patio Furniture
  3. Airfare and Vacation Packages
  4. Gift Cards
  5. Gaming laptops and Ultraportables
  6. Chocolates and Flowers
  7. Newly-Developed, High-end Tech
  8. Second-Hand Gaming Consoles
  9. The Roku 4
  10. Winter Gear

And their list of things they advised against buying last year that they now give the green-light to are Designer Clothes, Brand Name Smart TVs and Latest Fire Tablets.

For their reasons why, click here.

So, are Black Friday Deals worth it? Whether you decide to shop on Black Friday or not, be a savvy shopper. Make a shopping list, stick to it, and watch for the best prices. Sure, a better deal may show up next week for that item you bought today, but there comes a time when you just need to say “This is a decently good deal. I’m going for it!” and just get the shopping done and over with. That relief in itself is worth a few dollars!

For information on Black Friday deals check out, TheBlackFriday, Retailer websites (some, like Target, Walmart and Best Buy, among others, “leak” their own Black Friday deals), Amazon Pre-Black Friday Deals, and websites like Brad’s Deals and DealNews to find out if something really is a good deal.

UPDATE: Here is another article by Forbes about 7 Black Friday Pitfalls That Will Cost You. They give these tips:

  1. Do your research. Some items are made specifically for Black Friday and never sold for the full retail price they claim.
  2. Don’t let the discounts pull you in. Make sure you are comparing the real prices and not the fake “savings”. Sometimes they say it’s 50% off retail price for Black Friday, but the every day price may be the same or only slightly higher.
  3. Read the fine print. That bold print price may be the price after a mail-in rebate. Make sure you know if an extra step is required to really get it for that price.
  4. Don’t ignore online deals. Sometimes you can get those Black Friday doorbuster prices without ever leaving your home. We were quite successful at that last year and did in-store pickup so we didn’t have to pay shipping.
  5. Remember the coupons. Many retailers, like Joann’s, offers coupons for extra savings in their Black Friday circulars.
  6. Don’t get crazy about price matching. Many retailers will not price match between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Walmart is an exception.
  7. Wait for better deals after Black Friday. Depending on the category, some prices are lower after Thanksgiving. As I mentioned earlier, toy prices usually go down, though inventory starts to thin.

For the full article from Forbes, click here.

What do you think?

Written by Lisa Jennings

Lisa has been helping people create budgets and get their bank accounts in order for over 15 years. As a conference speaker and presenter at financial events, Lisa enjoys helping people get their finances under control. You can reach her at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



11 Ways You Waste Money During the Holidays | US News

8 Money Mistakes by Millennials in Their Early 30’s | Forbes