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Posted by on Oct 9, 2018 in Guest Posts, Holiday, Shopping | 0 comments

5 Things to Consider Before Braving Black Friday

black friday

The idea of scoring awesome products like big screen television sets, the latest and greatest tablets, and name brand clothing at rock-bottom prices is pretty sweet, isn’t it? After all, that’s why so many of us are tempted out of warm houses stocked with tasty Thanksgiving leftovers on Black Friday. However, is Black Friday really worth it? Here are five things to consider before braving Black Friday.

#1 – What Do You Want?

In other words, what items are on your shopping list this year? Believe it or not, Black Friday is not the best time to buy everything. For example, according to Kyle James, founder of rather-be-shopping.com, deals on (Source: Business Insider, 2016):

Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, so make an explicit list of items you want to snag and then do your homework! Research the best times to buy, the best brands, and historical Black Friday prices as well as this year’s deals.

#2 – Will You Really Be Able to Get What You Want?

Let’s say the item you want is definitely cheapest on Black Friday, you still need to consider if you’ll actually be able to get it on Black Friday.

Here’s the thing, typically, the best deals are doorbusters, but stores intentionally only have a few of those amazingly priced products in stock. (Usually they’ll have between 5 and 15 of whatever the item is in stock.)

In recent years, to try to ensure customer safety, many stores, including Target hand out tickets for doorbusters. Everyone lines up in front of the store before it opens and about 20 minutes ahead of time an employee hands out tickets for the hot items. Once all the tickets have been handed out your chance of snagging that item is essentially nil.

This means, if your item is a doorbuster, you’ll need to be willing to line up early. Probably really early.

#3 – Is It Worth Your Time?

No matter who you are, your time has value. When thinking about participating in the Black Friday shopping tradition, you have to ask yourself “is this worth my time?”

Keep in mind that many stores now start “Black Friday” on Thanksgiving, so your time might be extra valuable as you could be spending it with family. Is giving up Thanksgiving with all of it’s tasty foods and quality time with loved ones worth the Black Friday deals you’re planning to snag?

#4 – Is It Safe?

There are no two ways about it—bargains are awesome, but there is no deal that is worth risking your safety for.

Depending on where you live, going out on Black Friday could be dangerous. For example, you may have to deal with bad weather and impaired road conditions. Even with good weather, exhausted shoppers, hung over from last night’s turkey, may not be the best drivers!

Other safety concerns have to do with the stores themselves. Will crowds be kept under control? Could you be injured in the mad dash for doorbuster or be assaulted by a fellow shopper convinced that the last of this year’s hottest product is rightfully his.

Even just navigating the parking lot to get back to your vehicle could be hazardous. Dark parking lots can lead to injuries such as slips on the ice or car accidents or more malicious crimes such as criminals breaking into your car.

When contemplating a Black Friday shopping spree, consider the weather, who will be available to go with you, the neighborhood, recent criminal activity, and the store’s reputation for safety on Black Friday.

#5 – Will You Overspend?

If you have the bad habit of overspending or buying items on impulse just to save a buck or two, Black Friday is not your friend! Even for those who typically keep a white-knuckled grip on their budget, Black Friday can be a challenge. The rush of adrenaline that comes from snagging a great deal AND beating others out for said deal can go straight to your head!

If going out for Black Friday deals may actually put your budget in jeopardy, consider staying home, enjoying another slice of pumpkin pie, and watching some money saving videos. 🙂

When it comes to Black Friday, there are great deals to be had. However, sometimes Black Friday just isn’t worth it. Answer the five questions in this article to determine if you should brave Black Friday or stay home.

Kelli Bhattacharjee, the proprietor of FreebieFindingMom.com, is a former investment professional with nearly ten years of experience who has a passion for showing others how to live a frugal yet fabulous life.