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The hype and excitement over Black Friday deals are in full swing, but are you really getting the best prices you can when shopping Black Friday? I asked Johnson C. Smith University instructor Yvette Russell about those hugely discounted items, also known as ‘loss leaders'. "They put some really compelling deals out there that are loss leaders that will then bring the people to the store those are usually limited quantity. Many of the products in the store not discounted very deeply."
That's right. Many items, other than the ‘door-buster' deals, are not discounted, and might in fact be a bit higher than any other time of year.
Russell says next fall when someone says they are already Christmas shopping, don't tease them, learn from them! "The better deals are more October and September. So those people who everyone laughs because they're out Christmas shopping early, those are the people who often get the best deals," Russell says.
When you walk into most stores, they'll have giant signs promising even deeper discounts if you sign up for the store credit card. Russell says it can be tempting, but you've got to be disciplined to do it. "You do get that offer but you have be careful if you don't pay that credit card off, just like with any credit card, the interest mounts and you're losing everything you gained by not paying off after that month," Russell points out.
But the excitement of Black Friday isn't lost on this college instructor. She has enjoyed Black Friday shopping too. "It's the thrill of the hunt," she says of her experiences. But remember, knowledge is power, and a little planning can go a long way toward saving you money!
"It is a lot of fun but from a budgetary standpoint you just want to do your homework. Use the online resources, and compare against the advertised specials. Really examine those items that you're looking for and compare the prices on a regular day.
If you want to learn more about Black Friday deals, and get email blasts that tell you about specials, the web site, Blackfriday.com will keep you up to date.
You can also use the price comparison web site Decide.com to see if prices are likely to be lower another time of year. It might not help you THIS holiday season, but next Christmas you can have your presents purchased and save months in advance and not have to stand out in the cold.