Is Black Friday shopping really worth it?
by Sarah Mitroff
#1 Stores offer the same sales online
Though Black Friday started as a brick-and-mortar store shopping holiday, many stores now offer the same sales online. You can do all of your shopping in your pajamas and not miss out on the sales.
Mobile shopping is also getting more popular as an alternative to going out. The catch is that not all items are available online, so you'll need to do your homework first to plot out what you want to buy and where you can get it.
Here are some predictions of this years' Black Friday online sale starts at some of the biggest US retailers (based on last year's data):
- Staples' Black Friday deals are available online starting 12:00 AM Thanksgiving
- Best Buy's Black Friday deals are available online starting Thanksgiving and will reveal exclusive doorbusters on Thanksgiving
- Target will offer its Black Friday deals online (starting 11/21 at 12 AM), and there's free shipping with no required minimum purchase through December 25
- Walmart's Black Friday sales begin online on Thanksgiving at 3:01 a.m. ET, 12:01 a.m. PT, and there's free shipping with a $50 purchase
- GameStop's sales are available online on Black Friday through Sunday November 27
- Kohl's is starting its Black Friday deals early online on Monday November 21
- Macy's Black Friday sale starts online on Thanksgiving, and there's free shipping with a $50 purchase
*Note: these are predictions and are not set in stone. For an updated list, please visit TheBlackFriday.com
#2 Black Friday shopping is madness (and possibly dangerous)
#3 It's no longer a one-day affair
#4 Deals aren't always the best you can buy
#5 Even doorbusters are a mixed bag
Doorbusters -- low-priced items with a limited quantity -- are sometimes worth heading out for if -- and only if -- you are both ready to wait in long lines and you accept that you may not get what you want. Even then, these items aren't always the best deals around, and you can get something better online.
For example, last year, Target was offering an Xbox One bundle with Gears of War for $299, plus a $60 gift card, but at the same time, over on Dell's website you could've gotten a similar bundle with an Xbox One, Gears of War, Fallout 4, plus an extra Xbox controller for $299.
Best Buy was offering several good doorbusters, such as up to $125 off certain models of the Apple iPad Air 2, and two Chromecasts for $50, but these sales were available online on Thanksgiving, and you didn't even have to leave your couch.
Save yourself some time and effort and do your homework before-hand. Compare online ads to in-store ads to see if sales are even worth waiting outside in line for hours for.
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