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6 Pitfalls to Avoid for Black Friday Deals Shopping

By Erik Folgate

black friday tipsI know that some of you think that shopping on the day and weekend after Thanksgiving is pure lunacy, and it is to some extent. But, I have to admit that I given into the temptation of making it a small tradition to go out every year, because there’s something exciting about getting up super early and waiting in line for a great deal. I can’t stand when I see or hear about people fighting over an LCD TV or a Barbie Doll, but for the most part, getting out and shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year gets me pumped up for the holiday season.

The thing about Black Friday is that it’s very easy to get trapped by all of the pitfalls that retailers try to sucker us into, and we end up not getting the savings we originally had hoped for. I’ve put together a list of 6 pitfalls to avoid if you decide to fight the crowds on Black Friday this year:

1. Not doing your research on door busters.
A lot of door busters are old models of a certain item, especially electronics, and the retailer is trying to clear out their inventory. You need to make sure that the deals being offered suit your needs. A good example of this is LCD TV’s. If you don’t have an LCD TV, then any decent door buster deal will be fine for you, because you’re most likely going from non-HD to HD, which is a huge difference. But, if you have a 40″ LCD and you see a deal on a 46″ LCD, make sure you do your research to see if it’s worth making the upgrade.

2. Buying Stuff You Didn’t Originally Come To Get
My wife and I circle the items on the ads that we specifically want, grab whichever ones we can, and get out of there. If you stay too long in a certain store, especially a department store like Target and Walmart, you’ll get caught up in the frenzy of everyone grabbing stuff, and you’ll end up putting things in your cart that you don’t need and didn’t come for originally. I am so amazed at some of the stuff that people have in their cart on Black Friday. They just buy, because it’s on sale, regardless if they need it or not. Don’t fall into this trap.

3. Don’t get caught up in the frenzy
This dovetails off the last one. There’s a reason retailers love Black Friday; the hype and enthusiasm of the day causes a lot of people not to think straight. They buy crap they don’t want or need just because it’s a “deal.” If you’re an impulsive buyer or you fall to the temptation of overspending easily, then you should probably wait to do your shopping until the crowds die down after the weekend.

4. Going alone
Some people can do it, but I find that if you want to grab all of the items on your list, you need to travel in at least a pair or three people. This will help you spread out and grab the best deals before their gone.

5. Not Checking Black Friday websites ahead of time.
A lot of retailers leak their Black Friday ads two weeks ahead of time. Many of the major retailers have already leaked their ads to great Black Friday sites like BFAds.net. Check the ads out now so that you not only have enough time to figure out which purchases you actually need, but you can also do your research on the items to make sure they truly are a good deal.

What’s your best Black Friday deal to date? Our best so far is a 32″ LCD we got for our bedroom that was $268 last year at Target.

6. Not Having Fun
At the end of the day, Black Friday shopping should be a fun experience, not some sort of tedious and expensive chore. Otherwise, you’re better off searching for online deals and waiting until Cyber Monday (the online version of Black Friday) when you can shop from the comfort of your own home.

Are you planning on doing some Black Friday shopping this year? What are some of the things you’re doing to prepare for the madness?

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://www.couponmole.com/ Pamela C

    Standing in a mile-long line, arguing with someone over the last stock on the shelf, squeezing myself in a super crowded mall… I really don’t mind. That’s what I love about Black Friday. :) Happy Christmas Shopping.

  • http://www.retireby40.org Joe

    I think we’re sitting this one out in the warmth of our bed. I’ll probably shop a bit on Cyber Monday though. Good luck to all the shoppers out there, the economy needs you!

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