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Five Black Friday Myths: Exposed

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Black Friday is the traditional beginning to Christmas shopping. This day falls on the fourth Friday of November, or right after Thanksgiving Day. Every year, millions of shoppers rush towards retail and online stores on this day to enjoy generous discounts. This year, the competition between stores to garner most consumer interest is heightened because of a relatively shorter window between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In search of holiday-season profits, stores are working towards exploiting people’s concerns about missing out on a good deal, and the media - like always - has jumped on the bandwagon. This has led to various myths being circulated, further confusing the already harrowed consumer. But fear not, Bidness Etc has cracked some popular Black Friday Myths to give you the quick and dirty on this manic shopping adventure and also save you a lot of time and hassle.

Here is a list of five most popular Black Friday myths that Bidness Etc have decided to demystify.

Myth #1: Black Friday Deals are only for Black Friday

Well, they are not.

For the last couple of years, deals have been introduced in the form of teasers way before Black Friday, and this year, many companies have pushed their promotions to as early as two weeks before the holiday season officially kicks off, just so to take advantage of whatever extra sales they can generate.

Brent Shelton, spokesman for Fatwallet.com, a deal site says, "I think the term Black Friday is not very valid, it's just not Friday anymore." Bidness Etc believes he is correct in his analysis—with Black Friday deals seeping their way into Thanksgiving Day, who knows, we may be entering into an era where ‘pre-Thanksgiving sales week’ becomes the most awaited week of the year, discounting the heavy importance we all place on Black Friday sales altogether. This year, Gap Inc. (GPS), Best Buy (BBY), Wal-Mart (WMT) Sears (SHLD) are amongst the list of retailers who began selling discounted products before Black Friday. Our take: watch out for Black Friday deals when you plan your shopping trips for the weekend.

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Myth # 2: Never to Miss Door-busters Deals

Sometimes it is best to walk past door-buster deals because they might trap you into buying stuff that you really don’t need. The true purpose behind door buster deals is to divert customers into the stores and, once they are inside, to make them spend money. Essentially, door buster deals, available in limited quantities is a marketing gimmick—retailers dish out steep discounts and carry a limited stock for those products, all the while hoping to offset the low margin made on these items through sales of other things when the customer indulges in impulse buying. Remember, you shop on Black Friday to save money, not to spend more. Our advice is simple: beware of door busters before they bust your wallets.

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Myth #3: Black Friday Deals are Better Than Any Other Deals Offered During the Year

Don’t be too tempted by Black Friday deals because the best deals might be waiting for you during some other time of the year. Retailers are now using an age-old trick to maximize their revenues—confusing the customer! Many of the big chains have posted deals that are being rolled out at different times of the year, so now, customers not only have to know where to go for that coveted product but also when to go. Bidness Etc suggests holding off on buying in-season items—don’t purchase those jackets, and fur coats now, ladies and gentlemen. It is probably going to be worth your while to wait until summer approaches to make those buys. Also, an insider tip: Mark Huffman of ConsumerAffairs.com says that Black Friday is not really where consumers get the best deals and that this year… retailers are saving their best deals for Christmas. You may want to skip on Black Friday shopping altogether now, and we won’t blame you if you do.

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Myth #4:  You Need to Camp Outside Retail Stores to Avail Best Discount Deals

The good news is that you don’t need to.

The manic pre-Christmas rush to the malls on Black Friday is mostly a cultural phenomenon. Most of the time, Black Friday deals are available online. Let us serve you the skinny on this one: Your clicks can save you from the hassle of waiting in line for those products you desperately want to buy. Our take on this? Forget about bundling up or giving up your share of that wonderfully tasty piece of pie. Enjoy your shopping from the comfort and warmth of your own home.

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Myth # 5: Black Day Deals will save you Big Bucks on Everything

Shopaholics rush towards stores on Black Friday in an attempt to save money by purchasing products at marked-down prices. However, what they fail to notice is the fact that retailers have now started to ‘engineer’ prices in such a way that the margins made throughout the year, including the time where the prices are steeply marked down, average to a level they’ve sought. There is also significant data to prove that Black Friday deals on all products do not always save the customer big bucks. For example, Consumer Reports indicate home appliances and small consumer electronics are cheapest in December. Another report, this time from the consumer price research firm, Decide Inc. found Elmo Dolls, Samsung TVs were less expensive on days other than Black Friday. In short, Black Friday is shopping day for serious shoppers, who have a strong sense of what’s going on in the market for the products they desperately want to buy. For those not committed to this type of research, be wary of what you see, for you know what they say—all that glitters is not gold.

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