Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday: Don't buy the hype

Are you a Black Friday junkie? I'm not and never will be. I'm all about a good deal but this just seems excessive. I'd definitely be throwing some elbows amongst that crowd. If you like the thrill of it, that's one thing - I guess. But if you're looking to score bigger deals than what's online, you might just want to stay in bed and shop till you drop in the comfort of your home. Experts agree that it's marketing at it's finest and you shouldn't give into the hype.

"[Early sales] are media events more than anything else," says Steve Schaffer, CEO of "You don't need to get to a store at midnight to find good deals." In fact, the only thing the early bird may actually be getting a jump on is holiday debt, as the longer hours decrease a consumer's odds of actually scoring the limited number of doorbuster deals retailers use to hook them.

"Stores seem to be just pushing the early envelope to create an urgency, hoping people will buy early before realizing they've spent too much," says Andrea Woroch, consumer savings expert with She says retailers aren't likely to add extra doorbusters just because they are opening up earlier.

"There are lots of big sales out there, but it doesn't seem there are more of them than in the past," Woroch says. "I don't think it will be a huge factor on the number of deals," echoes Brad Wilson of

All experts suggest consumers increase the odds of scoring the lowest prices by researching beforehand. Schaffer says consumers may even want to consider sticking to online shopping because it enables them to compare prices rather than succumbing to impulse buys in person. "Consumers get much more empowered by weeks of research, especially compared to the old model of just rifling through the morning paper and making quick decisions," Wilson says.

If you just can't resist the temptation, click here for year's post on survival tips for braving the mad rush and long lines.

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