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By Laura Royer

Black Friday is the most anticipated sale of the year because it is touted to be the “biggest” sale and “best” deal of the year. Back in the day, this was probably true, but today it is much different. Many of the deals end up being about the same offer as many other sales and sometimes the deals are not as great. This holiday season, Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) should share information with military families and clients on how to recognize the hype that can cause them to unnecessarily spend more money this holiday season.

Many retailers will offer products with fewer features (i.e. TVs) to compensate for the lower price or the big sale offer. Other retailers offer better deals after Black Friday when sales traffic slows down in hopes to generate more sales. To debunk some of the hype about Black Friday, here are 13 myths to be aware of the Black Friday Sale.

1. Black Friday is Friday, Right?

Black Friday is not even just on a Friday anymore. Gone is the real Black Friday and now people can start shopping as early as the week before Thanksgiving through the week of Black Friday. Some “VIP” customers get access to deals before the public, though anyone could be a “VIP” if they sign up for the store’s emails. So, if your client is looking for the best deal, they may not want to put all of their money-saving chips on just the Friday after Thanksgiving.

2. Black Friday Ads Are Leaked

Nothing is leaked anymore. Ads are released intentionally to compete for your client’s money. The good news is the ads can now be previewed so anyone shopping can take time studying the features of items coming with that great price. Encourage your clients to research what identical items usually sell for right now so he or she will know if the Black Friday offer is actually a good deal.

3. Doorbusters Are a Bust

The name here is simply to get you to their store first, because, after all, there is only so much money to spend. So, retailers will entice customers to choose them over others with a timed deal that typically is not much of a deal at all. Usually, it’s the same deal they offer usually or is of lower quality for the price it’s selling. Don’t be fooled here. Again, research items ahead of time.

4. The Deals Are So Good, It’s Worth Camping Outside

Consider the amount of time spent lining up and waiting in line just for a chance to grab a deal. How much money are you saving? Not to mention, many of these deals can be found online without having to go to such extremes to snag a deal. Also, some retailer’s price match, and your client may be better off asking for that than putting themselves through the crazy crowds. Time is money, so help your client keep this in mind when planning his or her shopping adventure.

5. The Deal is Only Available at One Store

Speaking of price matching, many customers fail to ask if other stores will price match their competitor’s deals. Many of them will price match and have already marked prices at the same price. What’s the worst thing a retailer can say when asked about price matching?” Your client should, in case they can get the same deal.

6. Shopping in the Store Offers Best Deal

Many retailers offer the same deal online, from the comfort of home. Again, your client should check the ads to see what is being offered exclusively in the store versus online and if it’s worth dealing with those busy lines.

7. All Deals are Advertised

There are often deals on Black Friday that is not included in the paper ad. Just because someone finds a deal and it wasn’t advertised does not mean it is not a Black Friday deal. Retailers may reserve special offers for their shoppers.

8. Ads are Accurate

Watch out for misprinted ads or errors. While websites that share Black Friday Ads are helpful, they could be sharing ads that have errors in them. Be sure your client knows to check with the store directly to verify deals are accurate. Also, encourage him or her to take the ad with them to the store in case they run into price differences.

9. It’s the Best Time to Buy a TV

This is a big misconception. For the past few years, the best time to buy a TV is December or January. Many of the televisions in Black Friday sales are low-end TVs or ones offering less desired features. Be sure your client understands this and reads the specifications on the TV before he or she buys into it being a steal.

10. Free Shipping

Many retailers will require a minimum purchase to get free shipping so don’t assume if it’s advertised, free shipping is on all purchases. Also, not all coupons will work on Black Friday. On a side note, the annual free shipping day this year is December 14.

11. Stay Near the Computer to Get Best Deals

While this may have been true in the past, technology has truly changed shopping prices for the better. With new apps and web extensions that notify a customer of the best times to buy, there is no need to be on the computer all day and refreshing to grab the best deal.

12. Limited Quantities

While it is true that stores carry limited quantities of deals on Black Friday, it does not mean that these items won’t be restocked or sold at that price again before the holiday season is over. If your client knows what he or she is buying, what the item usually sells for normally, then advise him or her to keep it on a price watch for a great deal. 

13. Purchase is Complete

If your client is shopping online, so are others. Sometimes things get sold but may have been already out of stock because of the volume of customers buying. Be sure your clients understand he or she should wait for the order to be confirmed and shipped before marking the item off the list.

Photo by Kindel Media/Pexels