Since money has been tight this year, many of us have been waiting for the holiday deals to begin. But, does the Black Friday Hype really live up to the savings?
The Black Friday Hype
Black Friday has been a family tradition for several decades. I can remember a few years of waking up early and waiting outside the stores to be among the first to take advantage of storewide discounts. During some of the leaner years, it was the only way we could afford certain items.
While you can still find great deals, things have changed a lot in the last ten years. In addition to in-store discounts, more e-commerce has led to the creation of Cyber Monday and exclusive specials for online shoppers.
Online sales have grown exponentially with over 130 million Americans planning to make online purchases this weekend. It looks to be another record-breaking year with an estimated 13% increase in individual spending from last season. However, you may not be saving as much as you think you are during this weekend’s sales.
Black Friday Savings vs Spending
Many retailers advertise amazing discounts to tempt shoppers during this shopping frenzy. But, that doesn’t mean it is the best price of the season or even the year.
According to a recent WalletHub survey, research uncovered that 35% of the items available from major retailers offer no savings when you compare prices before Black Friday. Other analyses show that 98% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals were marked the same price or even cheaper at other times this year. So, it seems that the discounts don’t hold the same value they once did and it may not be worth buying into the Black Friday hype.
How Can You Maximize Your Savings on Holiday Sales?
While many of the advertised sales don’t live up to the hype, there are still plenty of ways you can save money during the holiday sales.
Pay attention to the duration of the sales.
Although many retailers advertise these discounts as Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, they may not limit the sales to only these days. Many sales start before the actual day and will continue through the holiday season.
Be sure to check the fine print and see if there are additional discounts if you buy before a certain date. Others, you may be able to purchase it at the same price or find deeper discounts later.
Know which seasonal items offer the best discounts.
Another thing to remember is that many retailers regularly offer seasonal discounts. Now is a great time to score rock-bottom prices on TVs, smartphones, and fall clothing items.
However, other items such as computers, appliances, and other apparel were cheaper back in October. Additionally, you are more likely to get lower prices on cosmetics, jewelry, exercise equipment, furniture, and bedding in January. And unless you are after the hottest toys this season, you may find better discounts in a few weeks.
Therefore, it may be worth waiting to buy these items during other holiday weekends in the coming year.
Use browser extensions to find the lowest prices.
Web browser extensions are another great way to save. Price-tracking browser extensions such as Keepa and CamelCamelCamel will notify you if there has been a price drop on items you have been keeping an eye on.
Other extensions like Honey will let you know if there are lower prices somewhere else. And, adding RetailMeNot will automatically scan and apply coupon codes while you shop. Plus, you can use cash-back sites like Rakuten to help you earn money back from your purchases.
Look for ways to stack your discounts.
Keep in mind that most stores will only offer a single coupon or discount code. But, if you have credit cards that offer cash back or memberships that offer additional savings, you can stack your rewards to save even more.
Do you have any other strategies to save big this weekend? Share them in the comments below!