Invest Wisely

Are Black Friday Sales Worth It?

by Megan Roth5 min read

The holidays are coming up, and that means that retailers will start pushing their Black Friday sales on consumers. Every year, the media goes crazy with stories of people trampling one another to get to whatever game consoles, television sets, computers and so forth happen to be trendy at the time. This isn’t necessarily a case of the media generating all the hype, however.


The video linked above shows many people who seem far too eager to get into a department store for the Black Friday sale. Whether or not Black Friday sales are actually worth it, a lot of people seem to think so and they seem to be willing to physically run over one another to be among the first to get into their favorite retail outlets.


It turns out, you may just be better off staying home.


There’s No Rush recently reported that the discounts people are so eager to take advantage of on Black Friday are really nothing special. They give examples of retailers offering the exact same discounts they offered on Black Friday just before the end of the holiday shopping season.


What’s more, the Black Friday sales aren’t necessarily the best sales that retailers offer in any given year. They certainly work hard to make it seem that way, but the discounts people get by putting themselves through the Black Friday madness are really nothing special and you might just want to wait till the end of the season for better deals, when the retailers really want to get the excess stock off of their shelves.


You Might Not Be Getting What You Expect


If you head out at midnight the Friday after Thanksgiving and already know which make and model of big-screen TV you’re going to shove your way into the electronic store to buy, you might find that what you want isn’t part of the Black Friday sale. The Wall Street Journal noted that televisions, in particular, tend to be priced lower before Black Friday rolls around. If you were going down to the electronics store looking for the biggest manufacturer’s models at a huge discount, you’d be far more likely to find some off brand version.


The Sales Do Get Crazy


The scene depicted in the video above is certainly not unique and, in some cases, Black Friday sales get downright violent. If you love being in crowds, you might actually enjoy the energy of being among the first to get into a store at midnight, but many people may find the risk of getting trampled or being involved in some other eruption of violence or chaos to be far too great to be justified by not even impressive discounts.


In the sense of it being an event, some people might find it fun to participate in Black Friday, but be aware that it can get out of hand.


Check Online


Online shopping is obviously very popular now and you might want to look at your favorite online retailers to see if they are offering some sort of Black Friday deals. It’s not uncommon for them to do so now and you can take advantage of those sales without having to deal with the crowds or the mayhem that tends to accompany them.


You Might Save By Not Going


Part of the appeal of Black Friday sales to retailers is that they add a sense of urgency to holiday shopping. It’s an annual event and, even though a lot of people go for it, the fact that the discounts aren’t the most significant of the year – or even the holiday season – and the fact that a lot of the items that people want probably won’t even be on sale mean that there really may not be any benefit in it at all for consumers.


Rather than impulsively spending a great deal of money on the holidays due to being spurred on by a manufactured sense of urgency, consider waiting a while and doing your holiday shopping later or, if you really love the holiday season, doing it earlier. Some of the discounts you’ll find on Black Friday are far outdone by discounts you’ll find later on in the year.


Ultimately, Black Friday doesn’t seem to have much to offer consumers, it’s a hassle and, in some cases, it actually gets dangerous. If you want to save a few bucks at midnight on Friday after Thanksgiving, you could always go shopping online in your pajamas.