Black Friday: What’s the Deal?

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Every year, companies build up Black Friday hype with more commercials, more coupons and more emails.

Every advertisement brags about having the best deals, luring customers into their stores at early morning hours.

But is waiting outside in the cold at unnatural hours of the night for the stores to open worth it? According to Deal News, a website focusing on shopping deals, the answer is no.

Instead of camping out overnight to be the first one in the door, most shoppers can snag the same deals online. Last black Friday, about 70 percent of in-store deals at Best Buy were also available online; some of the items were even selling for less, according to Deal News.

Shoppers shouldn’t be enticed by “doorbusters”, items sold at record low prices to draw in customers, because often only the most dedicated bargain shoppers will reap the benefits of these deals. Last year, Best Buy featured a deal promoting a 42-inch high definition TV for $199, however only 10 were promised to each store, according to Deal News.

The shopper who despises the stress and madness associated with Black Friday can now avoid black Friday all together since many stores start their deals days before the actually day. Many popular black Friday shopping hot spots begin offering their deals as soon as two weeks before Black Friday, including Amazon, which started its deals on Nov. 19, according to Deal News.

A recent development in the Black Friday shopping world is price matching: a trend in which companies will match promotions from their competitors. Last year companies such as Home Depot, Meijer and Best Buy participated in the program; this year Best Buy already announced it would match any of Amazon’s promotions, according to Deal News.

According to blogger Bradley Gauthier, shoppers tend to spend more money on Black Friday than they would shopping on any other day, because they get impulsive when they see good deals. You might not be looking to buy a specific item, but if it’s part of a great promotion you might not be able to pass it up.

Essentially, whether or not Black Friday deals are worth it depends on the type of shopper you are. For the shopper who enjoys the sport-like competitive nature of black Friday shopping and is willing to push through less-than-desirable situations to get super-low prices, it probably is. The average shopper just looking for a good deal, however, can probably score the same discounts from the comfort of their home.


Photo courtesy of Walmart ad.

Junior > Journalism > University of Maryland

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