Is Black Friday Shopping Worth the Hassle?

Q: I’m an avid sales shopper, but after so many Black Fridays spent fighting crowds to chase down deals, but often coming home disappointed, I’m wondering if it’s all worth it. Should I give up the Black Friday shopping?

A: Black Friday has long been hailed as the biggest shopping day of the year, but consumers are rethinking that title. Let’s look at the pros and cons of being a Black Friday shopper so you can make an informed decision. 

What are the advantages of Black Friday shopping?

  • Deep discounts. There’s no denying that Black Friday does bring with it some great sales. A typical Black Friday sale will feature prices slashed up to 37%.
  • Get a head start on holiday shopping. If you’re eager to start crossing items off your list, you’ll likely want to start your gift-buying on the first day of the shopping season. 
  • Limited-time offers. Some of the most attractive deals are only available on Black Friday or for a limited time during the holiday season. 
  • In-store shopping.  For some shoppers, browsing through online sites from home can’t compare to the thrill of in-store shopping on Black Friday. 
  • Avoid the cost of inflation.  By taking advantage of deeper discounts and lower prices on Black Friday, you can combat the cost of inflation and stretch your holiday budget further. 

What are the disadvantages of Black Friday shopping?

  • Prices may not be at their lowest. With all the hype, Black Friday prices are not necessarily the lowest price an item might see this season. For example, toys will see deep discounts 10 days before Christmas.
  • Doorbusters are often overrated. The heavily advertised doorbusters at big stores are usually offered in very limited quantities. Unless you camp out at the mall to be first in the store, you’ll probably miss out. 
  • Crowds and chaos. The massive crowds and chaotic scenes you’ll likely encounter on Black Friday are enough to make many shoppers sleep in late and get their shopping done even later.
  • It’s no longer the biggest shopping day of the year. Many stores run Black Friday deals a few days before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. This means Friday isn’t the only time you can score these deals. 
  • You can get the same deals online. Most Black Friday deals can be found online–minus the crowds.

Use the information outlined here to make an informed decision about Black Friday shopping.