Mani(a)c Monday: Black Friday, Is it Worth it?

I am sure everyone is aware Black Friday is looming. Yes it’s that time of the year to bundle up, beat the crowds, and get the best deals of the year. I have taken part in Black Friday for numerous years because there are good deals. What I, along with many other people, have failed to realize it that these deals aren’t worth it.

I will say that again. 99% of these deals aren’t worth standing in line for even thirty minutes. Let’s take Best Buy for example. Best Buy has a door buster 50” 1080p Panasonic TV for the low, low price of $179. Now if we quickly search for a 50” 1080p TV online I can find similar TVs for $329-$500. That’s a $150-$321 dollar savings. Actually that $329 TV is from Best Buy as well. Now if you need a TV right this moment, this deal is looking pretty good. But for those of you who feel like you’re losing money by not spending money hear me out. At some point Best Buy is going to get a TV returned. They will, as they always do, re-sell it as an open box item. Now this will take somewhere between 10%-50% of the price off of that item, depending on how badly they want to get rid of it. That $329 TV is now selling for somewhere between $164 and $296 dollars. Not too bad. Best Buy also gives you rewards for every dollar you spend in their store, have any around? Take off a few extra dollars. Now if you’re lucky enough to have everything timed out perfectly you may even have received an e-mail from Best Buy with one of their $5-$500 mystery certificates. Add it all up. The $329 TV is now costing you somewhere in the ball park of $155 and $290. Why stop there? You know that rewards credit card you have? Turns out it probably has a Best Buy incentive in the ball park of a 4-5% rebate. Maybe there is even a promotional code.  While this does all rely on some luck and chance, what was your reason for getting that new TV in the first place?

OK, so I took a rather easy one, electronics are always on good deals, but it doesn’t just end there. Kohls, Macy’s, Men’s Warehouse, and other stores always have sales. How do they entice buyers for the Black Friday shopping? How about an extra 10-20% off their already marked down stock? Sounds pretty good to me if you need something here and now but many of us are signed up for our favorite stores e-mail blasts. More often than not, these are where the deals are at. I have been sitting on a $50 rewards from the last Men’s Warehouse deal (66% off a three piece suit) and it’s been burning a hole in my pocket. When companies rotate stock, everything must go. With their most recent fire sale all sweaters were marked down to $20. Even before anything else, this deal will beat any other deal you will find. Combine with this a $50 reward and you have four $250 cashmere sweaters for a grand total of $31.60 with tax (97% savings) and free shipping.

Black Friday is a great opportunity to get some good deals for not much work, but it is not designed to be the best deal you can get. With a little forethought, planning, and luck you can beat any Black Friday deal. It might just be fun to try.

Signed, LD

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About Danielle Beranek

Life can get away from you when being young, married, and still fairly fresh out of college. Taking on a pet, student loans, going back to school, and soon a new house is enough to leave ones head spinning. For me, life is crazy, but only on the outside.
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