Black Friday is coming. The day when men across the country will stand in line for hours to get a new TV pretending it’s a Christmas present for their wife. When people line up outside Macy’s at 5 a.m. to get the clothes they’ve been obsessing about.
But some Black Friday prices are a ripoff, so don’t set your alarm clock for 4 a.m. just yet.
Data shows that 17% of Black Friday promotions are more expensive than prices on Amazon, according to data collected by WalletHub.
This is significant, considering about 10% of people plan on spending more than $750 on Friday, according to a poll by BestBlackFriday.com. A sizable 22% will spend between $501 and $750, and 30% will spend $251 to $500.
The poll surveyed 1,140 people between September 28 and October 16.
So what “bargains” do you need to avoid?
WalletHub’s analysis shows that products across the board can be more expensive than they were weeks earlier.
The Playmation Marvel Avengers Starter Pack Repulsor, for instance. That could have been purchased for $69.99 between October 26 and November 19. But on Black Friday the price will be $114.25.
Same thing with this KitchenAid Artisan Stand 5-qt. mixer.
You could find it for $279.99 on JCPenny’s website between October 26 and November 19 — but it’ll be $20 more on Friday.
And again with the Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS DSLR Camera Bundle. You could have found it for $446.95 on Target’s website between October 26 and November 19, but will be priced at $499.99 on Friday, based on advertisements.
If you do plan on buying things on Friday, WalletHub’s info shows that you should focus on media. Items like books, movies and music will have the biggest markdowns. Video games and toys are the second most marked down categories.
“Once in a lifetime” is crap
In the same survey by BestBlackFriday.com, 80% of respondents said that despite claims by retailers that deals were “once in a lifetime,” the savings weren’t actually improving from previous years.
The website looked into it; here’s what they found.
Given the fact that a lot of the best deals are online and on Amazon, you could just stay in your PJs this year
Amazon actually started its sales on November 21 and will run them through the 27th.
Here are some of the best Amazon deals courtesy of Forbes:
- $99.99 Kindle Paperwhite (regular price starts at $119) Savings: $19.01 or 16%
- $99 for Jawbone Up3 (regularly $150) Savings: $51 or 34%
- $349 for Sonos 2-Room Streaming Music Starter Set (regularly $398) Savings: $49 or 12%
- $79.99 Vizio 38-inch 2.1 home theater sound bar (regularly $180) Savings: $100 or 55%
- 50% off on Sennheiser HD 598 Special Edition Over-Ear Headphones in Black (regularly $249.95) New Price $124.97
- 50% off Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones (regularly $199.99) New Price: $100
- 40% off on a Polk Audio Omni S2 wireless speaker (regularly $179.95) New Price: $107.97
- 25% off Denon Heos 1 wireless speakers (regularly $199.99) New Price: $149.99
- 20% off on select Samsung Galaxy tablets ($199 to $499) New Price: $159.20 to $399
- 40% off select Acer desktops, monitors, Chromebooks and tablets (regularly $139 to $1099.99+) New Price $83.4 to $660.000
- 70% off select SanDisk SNDK memory cards and USB flash drives (regularly $29.97) New Price: $9
Some tips for getting actual deals on Black Friday, if you choose to shop
- Plan ahead. A little research ahead of time is warranted when there is so much competition for a limited number of products. A lot of the big retailers are putting all their deals online, and some (like Amazon, Walmart, and Target) way in advance of Black Friday.
- Sign up for store email newsletters. Most companies will ask you for your email when you visit their site. If you don’t mind getting their newsletters, you’ll be able to keep up on all the sales they’re offering. Many will offer last-minute coupon codes so you can maximize value. You can always unsubscribe later.
- Watch out for older products. Black Friday is a great day for stores to clear out older merchandise. So if you’re on the hunt for the newest version of a gadget, just make sure that the amazing deal on the shelves isn’t for last year’s model. If you don’t mind, you could score a great deal.
- Make a list and price it. This is how experienced auction buyers shop. They make an ordered list of things they want and need and put the maximum price they’ll pay next to each item. The list should also include the non-sale price.
Black Friday Bargains outside the store
But hey, if you choose not to shop, consider going outside. A host of national parks around the U.S. are offering free admission on Black Friday, so you’d still be saving money. And the best part? No need to pop a Xanax or elbow other people as you race toward shelves of crap.
We’re five weeks away from January sales after all…