Black Friday

As you read this, I’ll be far away from the hustle and bustle of the biggest shopping day of the year, heading out to the middle of the Mohave Desert on a camping expedition with my family. Totally off the grid for the time being – we don’t have a smartphone, laptop, iPad, or wi-fi for that matter – so no one will even be tempted to place an order online from our SUV or tent!

Speaking of online retailers, some won’t post their sales until Cyber Monday, which takes place on the Monday following Black Friday. But many do go ahead and post their offers on Black Friday to compete with brick-and-mortar retailers. In a bid to capture the first rush of holiday shoppers, Amazon.com already started offering Black Friday specials earlier in November. Newegg.com’s Black Friday sale began on Wednesday @ 1pm PST.

As for brick-and-mortar stores… Walmart, Sears, and Target opened their doors on Thanksgiving night, with Best Buy following at midnight. If you plan on hitting the stores in person, check online to see what’s available before you go. You might save yourself a trip at the same time, but if you actually enjoy going out shopping, I wish you luck!

Just be sure to research the items you are buying and make sure you are getting a good deal before you buy. Black Friday marketing is HUGE and meant to make you feel like you are getting the best deal on the planet. But are you really? The only way to find that out is to check price comparison websites such as PriceGrabber.com or NexTag.com.

There’s an informative article titled 11 Simple Economic Lessons to Make You a Smarter Shopper on Black Friday by Derek Thompson at The Atlantic. It’s got some great tips, many of which are common sense, but worth a reminder. The article explains how getting the best deals starts with understanding the science of prices – and the games retail companies play to fool us into paying more than we should.

Did You Know…? The best time of the year to buy a laptop is actually in August-September during back to school season, and the best time to buy a TV is during Super Bowl season. Again, research before you buy. Click here to print out an annual sale guide.

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