There’s a lot about Black Friday we think we know, but is it the truth? Not everything you’ve heard or believe about this massive shopping day is spot on, and we’re here to set the facts straight.
Here are ten Black Friday beliefs that are far from true. We picked some of the most common myths from MSNMoney.com, in hopes that it will help you shop smart this year.
• Myth #1: Black Friday sales begin on Black Friday
Most major retail chains debut their big Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day. This year, Amazon.com has decided to start their huge sales several days before Thanksgiving. In fact, some items have actually sold out before Black Friday even starts. If your family time gets a little too stressful, it’s okay to step away and do some pre-Black Friday shopping.
• Myth #2: Doorbusters are free
This one’s a bummer. Yes, we know it’s hard to believe, but doorbusters actually cost money. Most doorbusters are just low-priced items meant to create frenzy among shoppers. This year, don’t expect to get lots of freebies after spending hours waiting for a store’s doors to open. We apologize for that buzzkill.
• Myth #3: Nobody will beat Black Friday prices
This is absolutely false. Many stores offer price matching on Black Friday, including Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot and Meijer. Even better: in some cases, they’ll offer a lower price.
• Myth #4: Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year
We were really suprised by this myth. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (and our own insider, the Marketing Director of the Sandusky Mall), the Saturday before Christmas is technically the busiest shopping day of the year. This makes sense to us, since everyone’s out getting last minute gifts and groceries. Only about 35% of people are planning to do Black Friday shopping this year.
• Myth #5: Black Friday prices are the lowest of the year
This myth is partly true. Many Black Friday deals are the lowest of the year so far. Many sales will be matched or beaten later, as Christmas nears. You could save even more money if you’re willing to wait a little bit longer. Several items will be cheaper in the coming weeks, like toys, winter apparel and brand-name TVs.
• Myth #6: All good deals are printed in Black Friday ads
In the past, stores like Walmart and Best Buy have had additional Black Friday prices that weren’t in their advertisements. These “secret” deals can only be found on their websites prior to Black Friday, so our advice is to log on to the web this week so you’ll know about them before you get to the store on Friday. It never hurts to be prepared.
• Myth #7: If you change your mind on a purchase, you can always return it
Hold up. During the Holiday season, you need to be extra careful about returning purchases, as stores usually tighten their return policies during this time. Think you’ll be able to return merchandise without a receipt? Think again. Be sure to ask for gift receipts for all your purchases so you don’t get stuck with something you don’t want anymore.
• Myth #8: You have to go to an Apple Store in person to take advantage of its Black Friday prices
This isn’t true. All of Apple’s sale prices will be available on their website with free shipping site wide. However, there are other options that could save you even more money — like shopping on Amazon, MacConnection and MacMail — which are all predicted to offer even bigger discounts on Apple products.
• Myth #9: Black Friday is the best day of the year to buy a new TV
The lowest prices on HDTVs have been largely seen to coincide with off-brand models. If you want a great deal on a high quality, brand-name model such as Samsung or Sony, you’ll want to wait until December when the new 2012 models are released (with great discounts).
• Myth #10: Cyber Monday offers the same amount of savings online as Black Friday in-store sales
Some of you might not want to stand in line at 3 a.m. in the freezing cold with numb fingers and chattering teeth. We totally get that. But if you truly want great deals, you might not want to wait until Cyber Monday. That’s typically when retailers have special discounts on all the leftovers from Black Friday. Why not shop great online deals on Black Friday? You won’t be faced with loads of leftovers and you’ll be cozy and warm in your house, away from the chaos. What a perfect combo.