Black Friday: It's the one day of the year when all basic manners go out the door, because the store doesn't have enough big screen TVs for everyone, and now's not the time to be polite. Before you head to the nearest superstore and elbow the old lady in the ribcage before she snatches the last food processor, you might want to read up on these 11 Black Friday secrets most shoppers don't know. They might have you rethinking camping out in front of the mall the night before and waking up with frostbite on your toes and security yelling at you.
Black Friday has turned trampling the people in front of you into an Olympic sport. It's the busiest shopping day of the year, and people go big. According to The Balance, shoppers plan to spend just over $1,000 each on the big day. Overall, we're projected to spend $717.5 billion this year — up from $682.0 billion last year, making for a 4.3 percent increase.
So yes, you could say we take Black Friday seriously.
Before you inflate your tent and stock up on coffee and energy bars, though, here are a few things you need to know about Black Friday.
1. They Don't Have Any Extras In The Back — No, Really
If they say they ran out, believe them. They're not trying to play a mean trick on you. Stores want to sell out on Black Friday. They want your money and they want to clear out their stock.
2. They Bumped Up The Prices And *Then* Discounted Them
Your life has been a web of lies! The "sale" the stores have been getting you all excited about? It's a sale alright — but only after they've increased the prices in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. Sure, it's a sale. A sale of lies!
3. You Might Not Be Buying What You Think You Are
You better read the fine print, because having the latest version of everything doesn't necessarily mean you're getting the best. Be careful before "upgrading" your phone, laptop, or another gadget.
4. In Fact, Some Things Are Made Specifically For Black Friday
Forbes says, "In order to offer models at bargain prices, some manufacturers produce 'derivative models' -- that is, scaled down versions of their normal TVs. However, most consumers don't realize this, looking only at the brand name, the size of the screen and perhaps what type of HDTV it is (LCD, Plasma, LED, etc)."
5. Competition Is Cutthroat
Oh, I see what you guys are doing there. That's sneaky. That's conniving. That's... kind of brilliant.
6. You Don't Even Need To Go To The Store
Why brave the winter cold and the ruthless crowds when you could shop from the comfort of your home with a fresh cup of coffee and no bra on? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
7. Buy New Clothes A Week Before Christmas
Truth. All kinds of truth. When the fashion season — and especially the holidays — are about over, stores are all "GTFO" to their current clothes so they can make way for the new stuff. That means massive markdowns.
8. Black Friday Isn't Your One And Only Chance
If you don't have to go shopping on Black Friday, don't. Odds are the sales will still be going on the next several days but the stores will be less packed. It's a win-win.
9. You Can Beat Out Other Shoppers By Planning Ahead
Brilliant. Map out your territory ahead of time so that when the big day arrives, you're ready for battle. The other shoppers won't know what hit them.
10. You Have To Read The Price Tags Very Carefully
Spot a sale that seems too good to be true? It could be a mail-in rebate. The Balance Careers says, "When you see a heavily discounted product, make sure you look closely at the price tag. If it says $200* (*after mail-in rebate) then you need to look at the price you will actually be paying on the day. It’s possible you’ll be paying $350 on the actual day, and will have to wait to get that $150 back... if you jump through the right hoops. And even then, it can take 8 weeks to get your money back. By the time the New Year has come around, you could still be waiting for your money."
11. Stores Play To Your Emotions
Sure, the delicious candles and holiday decor are there to help everyone get in the holiday spirit. But stores are also trying to put you in a more pleasant and calm mood so you'll stick around and spend, spend, spend, says Business Insider. I feel so violated.