Black Friday is still a few weeks away and already, people are talking about all of the great sales that are coming. For a lot of companies, this is a huge weekend and they want to get your business. But how can you be sure you’re getting the best deals?
First off, if you see that a store is having “doorbuster” deals, meaning that they’re selling some item for super cheap, be aware that this is not an indication of the other deals in the store. No, this sale is designed to get people in the doors. A store might have 50 tvs to sell at a super low price, and the rest of their deals are nowhere near as good.
Don’t let yourself be swayed by something that seems like a great deal. “25% off retail price!” That sounds awesome. But what is the store normally selling the item for? Maybe they’re usually selling it for 15% off. That added 10% is still a deal, but not as great of one. If it’s something you wouldn’t have bought otherwise, it’s probably not worth your hard earned cash.
My best tip for you is to start your research now. Are there things that you’ve been looking at but not bought because of the price? For example, I’m looking to replace my vacuum. I have an idea of what I want to buy (it’s between a few models), but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I’m going to do a bit of quick research and jot down the current prices. Then, when the Black Friday sales start, I’m going to see if any online retailers are selling one of those models for significantly less.
Does this mean you shouldn’t grab a bargain if you see it? Not necessarily, just be mindful that it might not be the great bargain you want it to be. If you see something that you want for a price you agree with (and one that’s in your budget), go for it. I usually end up buying a few small things here and there.
I have done the in-person Black Friday sales and I hate it. I don’t like the crowds and I’m not that in love with a bargain. For others, it’s a huge adventure and they love it. If you are in the latter group, by all means, go out and see what’s out there! Personally, I will be shopping online, though I sometimes stop by places like Target later in the day to see what sort of deals they do have going. No doorbusters for me!
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.