Black Friday: Not Such a Big Deal after All

Are you dreading waiting in the freezing cold for hours, camping outside of stores for days or getting an elbow in the face while attempting to take advantage of a Black Friday deal? The latest study by the Wall Street Journal suggests that bargains are spread throughout the year, rather than being focused only on Black Friday. In fact, most big ticket gifts are priced below Back Friday bargains at the start of the shopping season and only a few items are deeply discounted on the day to attract the crowds and perpetuate the Black Friday myth.

John Barbour, chief executive LeapFrog Enterprises Inc., agrees: “In the old days, all of the great deals were on Black Friday, but now you see some great deals on Black Friday and lots of offers throughout the season.” To see exactly how prices change, the Wall Street Journal commissioned Decide Inc., the consumer-price research firm, to track prices of items from Barbie Dolls to flat screen TVs throughout the year with some surprising results.

Most luxury items are cheapest at the start of the holiday season (October) and then their prices slowly increase as we get closer to the holidays. The same is true for hot gift items and toys. Most items are priced below Black Friday deals after the holiday shopping season and while it’s unlikely that you will be in the mood for holiday shopping in March, you could certainly stir up some enthusiasm in October. After all, it’s much better than braving a blizzard to stand on the street for hours.

That’s not to say that there aren’t still massive Black Friday savings to be had, but the stores usually only discount a limited number of items to get shoppers in the door. The likelihood of you getting one of these incredible deals is slim and may not be worth an elbow in the face.

Instead, plan ahead next year and then sit back and smile when your holiday shopping is done before Halloween. You can also log on Decide Inc.’s website to see what to buy and when to buy it. This is a great way to get the very best deal on big ticket items. 

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