Black Friday is the biggest day of the year for retail stores and many shoppers. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, billions of dollars are spent in preparation for the holiday season. Every store has a sale of some sort, and nearly everything is on sale.
But, it’s not all about saving money and good times. Stores know people are desperate for a big deal and will do anything for it, including camping out days before. With that desperation, stores are known to take advantage of Black Friday to take your money. Be sure to know what tricks stores pull that could cost you money.
Doorbusters and Electronics Might Be Switched
When advertising their Black Friday sales, there are always big doorbuster items front and center. The massive TV for a crazy low price, the tablet for a few dollars, the king sized bed for half the price, all doorbuster items to get you interested.
Intrigued, you visit the store to look at the big item that will be on sale in the next few days and you see how much money you are saving. You see the impressive TV, check out the tablets, try out the king sized bed, and everything seems good. Almost too good.
That’s because the sale is too good to be true. Stores advertise their sale early to get you interested, but then swap out the item on Black Friday for an inferior product. Rather than getting the latest and greatest big screen TV that normally costs $3000, you’re buying a big TV that’s not that great that normally costs around $500 at the sale price of $400. But since you are caught up in the craziness of the day, you snag it anyways, not noticing the difference until you're home.
To avoid this scam, look carefully at the small print in the Black Friday ad and check the model numbers listed. Google the product number and check out what the deal actually is. Usually, manufacturers make Black Friday special models rather than what is normally sold, which often are of a lower quality.
Prices Go Up Before Black Friday
In order to make their deals even more enticing, stores often raise the prices on many items during the weeks before Black Friday. It might be just a few dollars, but sometimes can go to outrageous amounts.
Just because something is on sale does not mean it’s the best price. Especially at stores that are the only ones in their area offering a product, the “sale” price might actually just be the normal price after being raised.
If you are looking to get your holiday shopping done early, avoid buying the two weeks before Black Friday. This is when many prices are at their highest. Either buy in October or wait till after Black Friday.
For those looking for the truly best deal, sign up for a service that notifies you when prices change. That way, if you are looking for some expensive items, you can track their prices at different places and get it at a real low price.
Don’t Buy Extras in the Store
Black Friday is a crazy busy day and everywhere you look inside a store is another deal trying to catch your eyes. After getting what you came for in your cart, you might want to walk around and hunt for more deals. This is a risky game to play though.
The fear of missing out on a good deal is a strong motivator for buying stuff you might not need. By walking through a store, on Black Friday, with deals everywhere, you might end up spending more money than necessary. Especially with the excitement and energy of a store during this sale, you might feel like you need to snag and buy something right away so you don’t miss out.
During Black Friday, you don’t have time to do research if something is a good deal or a high quality product. All you see is what is in front of you; a sign telling you a sale and a box with a product on it.
Ignoring Small Local Businesses
Black Friday is dominated by the big chain stores, but that doesn’t mean your local small businesses aren’t participating too. There is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, with local businesses likely participating in all three.
Big chain stores want to keep all of your attention, but check in with local businesses. Some might be willing to price match, while others might have better deals and promotions. Many small businesses just struggle with getting the word out, but have great offers for Black Friday.
If you are looking for some small local businesses to check out, Pioneer’s Buy Local program has a list of outstanding places for you to check out. Plus, if you shop with a Buy Local business using a Pioneer credit card, you earn double Rewards points!
Opening a New Credit Card for an Extra Deal
During Black Friday, many stores are looking to sign up customers for their credit card. This can be a great way to make your deal even better, but it does come with some things you need to watch out for.
First, signing up for a credit card does affect your credit. If you are looking to buy a new house or car during the holiday season, do not open a new credit card. This can drastically impact your upcoming loans and interest rates.
Next, check if there is an annual fee for the card. If there is, you can still get the card, but be sure to cancel it before the fee becomes due. The best approach if you aren’t going to keep the card is to cancel it after paying it off fully.
Speaking of paying off the card, be sure you know how to pay off the card. Some stores let you pay off the credit card right there, while others require payment through a website or even through the mail. Be sure to get it paid on time or risk hurting your credit and owing more through interest.
Don’t get swallowed up in putting all of your purchases on a credit card and dealing with it later. Be sure you can pay for it all in a timely manner. Far too many people have gotten into the cycle of debt during the holiday season trying to buy gifts for everyone.
If you want to use a credit card to pay for your Black Friday deals, but want to skip getting it at a store, Pioneer can help with our VISA credit card. Now is a great time to sign up for a card, as you earn 0% APR for six months and if you spend $3,000 or more during the first 90-days, you earn an extra 10,000 bonus Rewards points! Rewards can be spent on gift cards, flights, and hotels.
Open a VISA Credit Card