Thanksgiving Day bring families together, but it also brings with it another festivity to follow right after: Black Friday. More than just the day after Thanksgiving, it is considered to be the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season.
Here’s all you need to know about Black Friday and how to prepare for it beforehand.
What is Black Friday?
Essentially, Black Friday is the Friday that follows Thanksgiving Day. It’s not an official holiday, though some states may deem it as such for state government employees. It has been synonymous to shopping sales, as many retailers and brands offer sales to kick off the Christmas shopping season. Due to this, Black Friday is regarded as the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States.
Why Is It Called Black Friday?
Although Black Friday is another day on the calendar that many look forward to, it was actually associated with negative connotations at first. The term was initially applied to the crash of the U.S. gold market in September 1869. Then, in the 1950s, Philadelphia police used the term to refer to the chaos that would ensue the day after Thanksgiving. Said chaos was prompted by an influx of tourists and shoppers for the annual Army-Navy football game. This led to long shifts for cops, especially since shoplifters would often take advantage of crowds in order to run off with items and merchandise.
By the late 1980s, retailers managed to turn things around for the negative reputation that the term “Black Friday” had amassed. The concept of Black Friday became a symbol of profit (which are noted in black by retailers in their accounting details) due to holiday shoppers spending huge amounts of money during these post-Thanksgiving sales. This notion of being “in the black” as a sign of profit followed a year of being “in the red,” which symbolized losses for retailers.
What Is The Significance Of Black Friday?
People spend large sums of money on this busy shopping day. As such, Black Friday sales are often seen as an indicator of the country’s overall economic situation. Additionally, some investors and analysts see these sales as a way to assess the overall health of the entire retail industry.
On the other hand, there are other experts who scoff at the idea that Black Friday has real fourth-quarter predictability for stock markets in general. Rather, they suggest that it only leads to very short-term gains or losses.
Regardless as to where you stand in the debate, there’s no denying the impact that Black Friday has today. Though some might consider these sales insignificant, they remain to be very much prevalent in our economy and overall consumer habits.
What Is The Difference Between Black Friday And Cyber Monday?
Dates aside, what differentiates Black Friday from Cyber Monday is where sales from either occasion take place. Black Friday sales can be found in both online and physical stores. Cyber Monday sales, on the other hand, are exclusively online. Hence the “cyber” in “Cyber Monday.”
Nevertheless, either occasions are great opportunities to enjoy discounts and deals on merchandise you’ve been eyeing for a while. However, deciding on which day is better for you will depend on what you’re looking for.
Reportedly, Cyber Monday features significantly better discounts. This is especially with the rising popularity of online shopping. If you’re after electronics or consoles from older lines, then you will be better off with Cyber Monday sales. Similarly, if you want bigger discounts on newer appliances from large retailers, then spend your cash on Black Friday instead.
What to Look Out For During Black Friday
As a major shopping event, Black Friday is something you’re going to want to prepare for. This is especially if you intend to snag the best deals and value for your money. Here are some tips to help you stay ahead of the game once this special Friday comes around.
Do Your Research On The Products You Want In Advance
Always do your research, especially when you’re about to drop a substantial amount of cash on a significant purchase. This applies even outside of any special deals on Black Fridays. You want to make sure what you’re buying is something that is exactly what you’re looking for. Splurging on items, no matter how big the discount, is still something that should be taken seriously.
That said, you can refer to user reviews on certain products that you’re eyeing. Look up the specifications and features of the items on your shopping list as well. Taking the time to do your research can help ensure that your purchases will be well worth your money.
Get An Early Start On Your Shopping
These days, a good number of retailers launch deals a week or two before Black Friday. As a result, you may not have to wait for Black Friday itself to enjoy some exclusive deals.
Also, take note of the opening hours of different stores on Black Friday. Some of them may allow you to enter earlier than usual in order to accommodate more customers.
Another tip is to make a list of stores you intend to visit and arrange them in order of priority. Remember that the best deals are likely to run out quickly, especially when it comes to more popular items.
Check The Return Policy
Take note that if you make purchases at physical stores, you may only return defective items for a replacement or refund if the retailer has a return policy in place. Most stores do have a return/refund policy, though. Also, make sure to know if a store’s policy entails an actual monetary refund or just store credit.
It’s also worth noting that return policies are not required by law. In the event that a store or business has no return or refund policy, they must explicitly indicate such terms on their storefront or website.
With all that said, a lack of return or refund option can put a damper on your shopping spree. Fortunately, online shopping is an option, and with buying online comes more rights.
When it comes to online shopping, consumers are afforded 14 days from the date of delivery to cancel an order. They also have another 14 days to return their items for a full refund. You must also ensure to get the original standard postage back when it comes to returns or refunds.
Be Careful With Unusual Brands
Top brands like Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony are popular choices when it comes to electronics. With that said, you might want to consider them when you do your Black Friday shopping. This is especially if you prioritize quality over quantity.
A product may be cheap or have a good discount attached to it. But, this won’t necessarily assure you that it is a quality product. Don’t get carried away by a good deal or low price. While you might find a hidden gem amidst all these discounts, it will help to tread carefully and be mindful about what to spend your money on.
Create A Wishlist
Having a wish list beforehand can help you stay prepared once all the price drops hit. Instead of wasting time scrutinizing every product on sale, you can refer to your wish list to see if an item is up for grabs at a discounted price.
Not only is having a wish list a time saver, it will also help you stay organized during your shopping session. You might find yourself overwhelmed by all these deals, so having a wish list on hand can help you stay focused as you go about with your shopping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Stores Raise Prices Before Black Friday?
It’s interesting to note that retailers may slightly increase the regular price of a product just a few days before Black Friday sales. This is to give the impression that their discounts are much bigger than they actually are.
What Are The Best Stores To Visit On Black Friday?
There are many stores that offer excellent discounts for Black Friday sales. Here are some of the top shops that may give you the best discounts during this special sale.
- J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Payless ShoeSource
With this list, you may be able to narrow down your store visits to further maximize your shopping time. This is why doing your research beforehand can be especially beneficial in preparation for major sales.
When Is Black Friday?
The specific date differs from year to year. However, Black Friday always takes place a day after Thanksgiving Day.
Are Amazon Deals Better Black Friday Or Cyber Monday?
Although Amazon offers good discounts on Black Friday, you will ultimately find significantly better deals on Cyber Monday. This is especially so for Prime members. In fact, Amazon often has a week-long Cyber Monday celebration. As such, you might want to wait for Cyber Monday deals instead, particularly if you intend to do some online shopping instead of making physical visits to stores.
Does Black Friday Last All Weekend?
It can. These days, retailers start making live deals within the first week of November. More often than not, Black Friday deals are usually executed over the weekend until Cyber Monday.
Are Black Friday Deals Worth It?
Determining whether a purchase is worth it or not will depend on what you consider to be “worth it.” Without a doubt, the discounts you might find can help you save on money. That alone may make these deals worth it. Still, shopping can be a subjective experience, so what’s worth it for one person may mean something completely different for someone else.
Overall, Black Friday is a great opportunity for you to save on money while treating yourself in the process. Be sure to do your research and come prepared once the day finally comes around. Don’t get carried away by all the discounts you see, either. You can enjoy Black Friday without being irresponsible with your spending habits, after all.