Annnnd they're off! The countdown is on. You're officially on the clock when it comes to getting your holiday shopping done, so you should probably get on that. Today is Black Friday, generally accepted as the biggest shopping day of the year. Last year, 225,000,000 people shopped on Black Friday and $11,400,000,000 was spent, so yeah, it's a big deal.
But should it be? Is Black Friday really the day of the year everything is cheapest? Is it even worth the hassle? Here are a few Black Friday myths we can bust right here and now, so you can either take off your shoes and forget about that door buster frying pan sale, or learn you something so that next year you don't make the same mistakes you made this morning.
5. It's called Black Friday because the sales start when the sun is down.
Nope, not even close.
Most assume we call it Black Friday because traditionally these crazy deals happen in the middle of the night or early morning, but that's not the case. The true meaning of Black Friday comes from the stores themselves and their profit margins, as in, stores go from being in the red to being in the black on this day every year. Macy's didn't get to be Macy's by giving things away, they know what they are doing, and today is just their way of pulling in the foot traffic with a select few deals. Black Friday is named in concern to them, not you, for good reason.
4. Everything is cheaper on Black Friday
Not true, research actually shows the best day to shop is December 18th.
Of course, it depends, but the answer is usually no. That TV is just cheaper than it was last week, or next week, but not as cheap as it was in January. Shoppers who procrastinate, generally aren't paying attention all year to prices, and that is what stores are counting on when they drop the prices to exactly what they were a few months ago on a normal Sunday afternoon. That XBOX might be $50 cheaper than it was in October, but they probably have a limited amount at that price, and normally that price will come back after the Holiday season is over.
If saving money is your thing all year round, and not just today, here is a guide that can help you gain some knowledge on what goods are cheapest at what time of year.
3. Everyone is bat shit crazy, and will step on your back for a waffle iron on Black Friday
No, the inevitable vines and You-Tube clips you will see today are not the norm, but that doesn't mean don't bring your mace. Studies show 12% of Black Friday shoppers are blackout drunk, so yeah, you can expect some people to be on their worse behavior. RetailMeNot.com also says that polls show fewer and fewer people say they would even shop on Black Friday, 44% this year compared to 49% last year, so the crowds are getting smaller and smaller it seems too. Stores beef up their staff today as well, so you can assume a Jingle All The Way movie scene won't break out in Macy's today.
2. You have to wait in line to get the Black Friday deals
No, and duh. This year 44% of shoppers will do their Black Friday shopping online, the highest number ever.
Not sure why this is news to some, but you can actually get the same deals some stores offer when the flood gates opened today online, it's true! Yes, if Walmart has four $77 TV's, you gotta go there, but if it's just a nice price in an ad, it's probably available online. Also, places like Amazon and Best Buy have been running "Black Friday Price Match" deals for years now, so if that price is listed in an flyer, they will match it, and you don't have to have some sweaty armpit pressed up against your face in Sears to get it.
You can actually use this app to scan an item's barcode and find the cheapest online price, places like Walmart will match the cheapest price you find at the register, no questions asked.
1. Black Friday deals are only available on Black Friday
Negative, some of the deals "released" today have actually been available all week, and will be available for awhile. Places like Kohl's and Target have actually had their Black Friday deals up all week online, just not in the stores, and nowhere do they say the sale ends today, you're just assuming that.
So it's obvious: your best bet is to use the app listed above to check out where the real cheapest deal exists on the product you're looking for, then see if it's available online. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to, so be prepared, do your homework, and cheap the change, you filthy animal.