If you think Black Friday shopping means hitting stores at the crack of dawn the day after Thanksgiving in search of so-called doorbuster deals, you’re way behind. Here are some Black Friday myths, starting with a very simple one about the calendar, plus tips for making the most of “Black Friday” sales.
MYTH: Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving.
Last year some stores opened on Thanksgiving and this year, even more stores are opening their doors on what used to be a sacred no-shopping holiday. Among them: Kmart, Target, and Walmart. Many retailers are offering some specials then and staggering other specials at other times, including Friday morning. For a list of store opening times, check blackfriday.fm.
MYTH: The best deals are on Black Friday. If this year is like last year, we’ll see good sales before BF and right up until the holidays.
Also, some BF deals—like some we’ve seen on TVs in preview ads—aren’t so great. Many of the holiday sale TVs are off brands, which typically don’t do as well in our tests as major name brands. Oh, and some sales aren’t even sales. In the Sears ad, they advertise a 32-inch Panasonic 1080p LCD TV with LED backlight (TC-L32X5) for $350. But that’s how much you’ll pay at Sears right now! And it’s $348 at Amazon.
MYTH: If you don’t hit BF deals, you’re missing out.
For some people, it’s a fun way to start holiday shopping with a bang. For others, it sounds like a nightmare to be avoided. Where do you fall? Tell us in the comments below! According to one survey, around 20 percent of shoppers are planning to hit store son BF. But only 6 percent say they’re going shopping on Thanksgiving.
HOW TO SHOP SMARTER
Decide what you want ahead of time. Read ads at blackfriday.com, blackfridaygottadeal.com, follow @blackFriday on Twitter. Then check prices at PriceGrabber to make sure “deals” really are good deals.
Visit the store ahead of time and map your route. Maybe befriend a salesperson or department manager and find out where the stuff will be displayed. That way you can make a beeline when the doors open. Is there a side door that’s closer? Will it be unlocked?