‘Tis the season for saving money. Considering wages are a little tight around this time of year, residents want to stretch out their dollars for all they’re worth. But, as experts warn, some Black Friday deals might be too good to be true.
CT Post reports that Connecticut’s Better Business Bureau wants bargain hunters to shop smart this year. Although Black Friday deals are like honey to us, we need to make sure we don’t fork over more cash than we have to. No one likes doing that anyway, but around this time of year, it’s more likely to happen.
So, before perusing the aisles and filling your shopping cart, spend your free time doing some comparison shopping. The BBB says that’s the best method to spare yourself from a “raw deal.” No one likes feeling like a total idiot, especially when it comes to matters over money.
Not to mention, in the spirit of immediacy, some Black Friday specials already started. I know, crazy to think that some of those magical discounts are already here.
Yeah, first Christmas takes over Thanksgiving and now Black Friday is starting to dissolve into Black November. However, it seems more and more people noticed this year than years past.
Connecticut Better Business Bureau spokesman Howard Schwartz cautioned residents to be wary of too-good-to-be-true prices:
Some of the would-be Black Friday specials are now offered in early November. In some cases, consumers can actually find better deals during other sales.”
I know, you don’t have to wait for Black Friday to take care of your holiday shopping anymore. Then again, some of the best prices of the year happen around July. Fun fact I learned a few years ago. Those July 4th blockbusters are no joke.
However, kids really don’t have a wish list together until much later in the year. Heck, who wants to think about Christmas when the year isn’t even half over?
But, if you definitely know your kid or S/O desires something mighty expensive, feel free to bargain hunt year round. It’ll only help your wallet in the end. Think about it: I’d rather worry over accidentally spilling the beans than forking over 40% more moolah at the cash register.
The BBB also urges residents to double check what’s actually on sale. Sometimes an LED TV might advertise a delicious price, but it might not be the same quality as a more reliable brand. So, make sure you know the manufacture that boasts a reputable product. Like, if a store offers a discount on Samsung or GE, you know what type of product you’re getting. However, if it’s a brand you never even heard of, you run the risk of purchasing a cheaply made and unreliable product.
Plus, sales on electronics are notoriously difficult.
Think about it: makes and models change every year. Things update, buttons move around, and wifi signals improve tenfold. So, when stores need to clear the floors of their 2017 models for the next batch, the sale prices towards New Year’s Day be better than Black Friday.
Actually, that is the most likely scenario. You and I both understand why. However, then you then run into the trouble of having a certain make and model sell out. It happens, so you need to find that balance between best price while it’s still in stock.
So, that’s what the BBB wants you to look into; how low do you see the price going and when can you take advantage of it.
On top of that, some stores artificially inflate prices before Black Friday, so that 20 percent discount might actually be “sold at retail price.” You’d think in the era of technology stores wouldn’t get away with it, but they still do. So, compare the price to the “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price” before whipping out the credit card.
I know, everyone hates homework, but instead of an easy A… you save more money. Which, in my opinion, is a far better reward.
Another rule the BBB wants you to learn is to look into all the terms and conditions of a sale. Some sales only apply to a limited quantity of items. Or, as a more topical example: the first 500 people to walk into the store. So, watch out for the little details at the end of the ad. They might betray you. And attract you to a literal crazy town filled with an angry mob of people who also didn’t read the fine print.
Speaking of fine print, return policies trip people up every year. Don’t let it happen to you.
For example, if all sales are final: check the condition of the product before purchase. Also, that “all sales final” mantra will really suck if you happen to find the same item for a cheaper price in another store. So, again, do yourself the favor of comparison shopping beforehand. It’ll definitely save you a couple bucks. Maybe more. Imagine.
Lastly, with the rise of identity theft, there’s a few things you should take into consideration if you shop online. The best way to protect yourself is to double check to make sure the web address starts with “https.” If it has that, you’re browsing on a secure website. If a padlock icon appears next to the web address, that’s an even better sign.
This tip will definitely come in handy on Cyber Monday.
So, while you have the time, make a list of everything you definitely plan on buying on Black Friday. Then, use all next week to shop around to make sure you know exactly where to go to get the best price.
Also, one last thing, if you make national news for elbowing someone in the face over that last Hatchimal, you will be forcibly removed from Connecticut and be relocated to Florida. Just a fair warning.