Doorbusters aren’t the only thing shoppers have in store for them this Black Friday weekend. There’s also a chance you’ll blow your holiday budget, and you have retailers to thank for that. Black Friday is a way for retailers to get you to shop, and they’ve got a bagful of strategies to get you to spend more than you may have planned.
“These guys (retailers) have had not one year, not two years but 100 years to figure out how to separate you from your money,” says Howard Dvorkin, chairman of Debt.com. “They are very good at it. They want it to be perceived that you are getting a deal, and sometimes that deal is not a real one.”
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Whether you’re getting up in the wee hours of the morning to get your hands on a doorbuster deal or are looking for general discounts, there are lots of ways retailers entice you to open your wallet. Here’s a look at some of the popular strategies and how to avoid falling for the trap.
1. Unfounded sense of urgency
FOMO is real, especially during Black Friday weekend. Who wants to miss out on a hot deal on whatever they covet? Retailers are very aware of that fear and create a sense of urgency to get you in the stores. “Consumers believe Black Friday is the be-all, end-all to get the very best deal,” says Trae Bodge, a shopping expert at TrueTrae.com. “Retailers may limit stock on certain things or make them only available for a certain time period. All those elements give us the sense that we have to jump right now.”
How to avoid it: Without a doubt, there will be some deals available only during Black Friday weekend, but that doesn’t mean discounts won’t abound throughout the holiday shopping season.
2. Too good to be true
To get you in stores, retailers offer really good deals during Black Friday. Not all of them are what they seem. Sometimes if it sounds too good to be true, it is. “Oh, look, it’s 50 percent off, but a week earlier, they inflated that price,” Dvorkin says. “That’s a trick that has been going on for years.”
There’s also the bait and switch element of Black Friday deals. Sure, TVs are on sale, but there’s only a limited quantity. After that, you’re steered toward a higher priced one. Sometimes consumers think they are getting a deep discount on the latest model, but it’s really last year’s or one of lesser quality.
How to avoid it: Read the fine print of all Black Friday ads to make sure it’s the exact product you want. Comparison shop online before purchasing. A quick Google search will show how much the item costs at competing retailers. If it’s nearby and the savings are significant, it may be worth the extra trip.