Deals, deals, and more deals. That’s right — Black Friday is almost here, which means it may be time to snag some deep discounts on the items you want, if your holiday budget allows.
With many of our favorite retailers posting bargains of as much as 50% off, it can seem like a good time to stock up on gifts as well as other items we may want for ourselves throughout the year… But how do you know when something is really a bargain, and when you’re just being lured in by good marketing for sales that really aren’t all that special? We checked in with experts to find out the rules of engagement for Black Friday 2019, so we can take full advantage of the real deals and maximize on savings.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to set aside some of your budget for Small Business Saturday, and support your local community! Check out HerMoney’s complete guide to getting the most out of your #shoplocal experience.
Start With The 20% Rule, And Look for ‘Black Friday Only’
The 20% rule is simple — don’t buy it if it’s 20% off or less. Deals of this size are commonly found throughout the year from our favorite retailers, and quite frankly, 20% is just not considered a “deep” discount. Sure, any savings is nice, but you’d be wise to keep scouting for a more substantial price cut, suggests Casey Runyan, Managing Editor for Brad’s Deals. For example, if you see something for 20% off on Black Friday, there’s a chance you might see it for 30% off on Cyber Monday, or even 50% off come January when retailers hold their end-of-season sales (if you can wait that long!)
Black Friday-Only sales, are, as the name implies, exclusive to this one day. For example, certain brands never seem to go on sale — think Glossier, Apple, Mac Cosmetics, Bare Minerals, and the list goes on. When you see companies that never slash their prices doing just that, it’s definitely time to buy, says Runyan. And note — the 20% rule doesn’t apply here. Even a 10% discount at Apple can save you big bucks, so embrace the deals you’re given.
Black Friday Best Buys
1. Kitchen Appliances and Housewares
These might not make the best gifts, but Black Friday is definitely the time to buy these items, says Runyan. The discounts are likely going to be deeper on this day than they will be any other time of the year. Focus on those items that are over $75 — that’s where you’ll stand to save the most.
“We expect Black Friday to be good for categories like Android phones, cameras, laptops, and TVs,” says Julie Ramhold, Consumer Analyst with DealNews.com. If you’re an iPhone devotee, check out deals direct from Apple, or from your cell phone carrier, like Verizon or AT&T.
Although it’s often said that December brings the best savings on toys, Edgar Dworsky, Founder and Editor of ConsumerWorld.org, disagrees. He says to buy your Christmas toys on Black Friday and you’ll save much more than waiting until later in December.
Doorbusters and Where To Shop
You might find some of the best deals this year are day-of “doorbusters,” says Dworsky — but with doorbusters, you’ll be waking up early to get your hands on what you want. Most of these sales are only “while supplies last,” meaning that the early bird really will get the worm.
Everyone’s favorite retailer — Amazon — isn’t always the best for Black Friday deals, says Runyan. You might be better off looking at your favorite direct-to-consumer brands, and tracking their sales in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. Just make sure you read all the fine print to make sure you don’t show up to the store for an online-only sale.
And remember — if you’re really looking to save, don’t shop just because there are sales, says Runyan. You might end up spending money on things you don’t need, which defeats the purpose of shopping the sales. Make a list, check it twice, and make sure you stick to it when you’re moving your way through those checkout lines inevitably stocked with appealing impulse buys.
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