Are Black Friday Sales Worth It?

The allure of snagging amazing Black Friday deals the day after Thanksgiving has become as big as the bird itself.

But, really, how special are those specials?

A new study from the Harris Poll (commissioned by NerdWallet) shows you might be better off staying home with the leftovers.

Major findings include:

93% of stores repeat the same Black Friday deals – including the prices – from year to year.
Many of the same sale prices are available throughout the year.
Middle-income Americans carry shopping debt longer than lower-income shoppers.

Although there are a handful of really good deals, consumers shouldn’t think that everything they see is going to be a gotta-have-it deal. Repeated deals – stores offering the exact same products at the same price as last year – can be particularly bad when it comes to electronics purchases. You are essentially taking home a year-old TV for the same price as last year. That’s simply a bad buy.

Another common method stores use to show inflated deals is to compare their Black Friday price to the manufacturer’s suggested price – not the store’s usual price for which it sells the item. For example, Sears will be selling a TV this coming Black Friday for $599.99, a reported savings of $600 from its original price of $1,199.99. But a closer look revealed that the same TV was being sold for $807.49 weeks before Black Friday. Here, the discount was actually $207.50, not $600.

Also, be wary of the mail-in rebate, instead of the instant rebate at checkout. This means you’ll be stuck with the full price on your credit card until the rebate comes through, sometimes weeks later.

So before heading out on Black Friday morning, do your homework – some of these deals can be real turkeys.

Have you seen fake/scammy deals this year from mainstream stores? Tell us about them below!

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Christopher Collins

Hello! I'm excited to bring you the kind of news and reviews that can help you become an even savvier consumer. As a father of a toddler, I also know how valuable time is, and I hope to save you some of that by offering pertinent, essential information.

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