The most important tip as you set about your holiday shopping, is to be knowledgeable about what things cost.
A study by dealnews.com – a website that is guide to deals on consumer electronics, computers, gadgets, housewares, and apparel – shows these myths about Black Friday sales:
1. Black Friday sales start after Thanksgiving.
Before putting the turkey in the oven, consumers should step away from the kitchen and go online on Thanksgiving because many stores post their Black Friday sales that day. In the past, some of the best deals have sold out even before Black Friday arrived.
2. Shoppers need to get to stores early to get the best deals.
You can often get the big in-store deals – even the doorbusters in many cases – online. In addition, major online retailers like Amazon.com, Buy.com, and Overstock.com will have Black Friday sales and may even match prices at stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Staples, Apple, Target, and more.
3. You have to go to the Apple Store for its Black Friday sale.
All of Apple's Black Friday sale prices will be available at the Apple Store Online, with free shipping site-wide. However, consumers looking for the season's best deals on Apple products should also check Apple resellers like MacConnection, Amazon, and MacMall, which undercut Apple's Black Friday prices last year and may offer a sales tax advantage.
4. Black Friday prices are the lowest all year.
Many consumers don’t realize that Black Friday deals are matched or beaten later in the season. Also, in their Black Friday ads, retailers often mix in their everyday prices with their steeper discounts, hoping that a shopper will bite on a high-profit item.
5. All of the best deals are in the Black Friday advertisements.
Days before Black Friday, some major retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, release last minute "secret" deals that are only advertised online (e.g., at walmart.com and BestBuy.com) even if they're only available in stores. So while Black Friday ads and circulars might give shoppers most of the information, smart shoppers should go online to uncover additional savings.
While the dealnews.com report offers helpful information to baby boomer consumers, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
You also need to check the prices online to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
One of the Internet firms mentioned in the dealnews.com report, overstock.com, recently was the subject of legal action.
District attorneys in seven Northern California counties have filed a lawsuit that contends Overstock.com, a “discount” website, has been making misleading claims about the discounts it offers consumers.
Overstock “routinely and systematically made untrue and misleading comparative advertising claims about the prices of its products,” a conduct that the district attorneys say goes back to 2006, according to the lawsuit. “Overstock used various misleading measures to inflate the comparative prices, and thus artificially increase the discounts it claimed to be offering consumers.”
Overstock.com denies the allegations.
So, it’s buyer beware out there this holiday season. Be sure you compare prices so that you can receive the best value for in these tight money times.
Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist