Black Friday: The Best Time to Christmas Shop – Myth or Truth?

Black Friday marks the official start of the Christmas shopping season. According to Wikipedia, the term dates back to 1966; however, has become common since 2000. Over the last decade many have become skeptical of Black Friday and the supposed deals that are offered by retailers, leading many to ask if Black Friday is truly the best time to shop for holiday gifts or merely an advertising campaign aimed at getting people through the doors.

“I love Black Friday shopping,” says Jennie Sanford of Bargain Blessings. “But it is important to do your research. One year I got up super early to go to Kohl’s and ended up going back in a week and got everything price adjusted even lower than it was on Black Friday.”

This possibility of prices dropping even lower after the Thanksgiving weekend has many believing that it’s not even worth it to fight the crowds.

Sites such as Black Friday 2010 and The Black Friday have leaked sale items from some of the major retailers and upon researching them you’ll see that the Black Friday sale price is no more than $5 lower than the price listed from the manufacturer. One such retailer is Target and their Black Friday sale price of the 8GB iPod Nano for $145. You can currently get the 8BG Nano from Apple for $149. So the question becomes: is a $4 savings worth your time?

“I think some Black Friday deals are just to get you in the store,” advises Coupon Princess, Shannon Snow. “I went to Toys “R” Us one year [and] bought lots of things I did not or was not going to buy because I was there! If you are not careful, you can overbuy because everyone is shopping.”

Another point to remember is that each retailer location usually stocks only a nominal amount of the door buster deals advertised, due to the number of stores owned by the chain. Therefore, if you are not one of the first five people in the store, you will not get that new HP laptop with Windows 7 for $200.

“I still think shopping Black Friday is kind of fun, but really do like shopping [the] day after Christmas better,” adds Shannon.

“In my opinion, stores like JC Penney and Macy’s do have great deals, but [they] aren’t any better than any other door buster Saturday deal,” adds Holly Syx of iGoBOGO. “It is a lot of hype with a little bit of truth.”

What’s your most memorable Black Friday experience?

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Penny Ray

Penny Ray is President and COO of He also writes freelance for multiple online and print publications on the topic of personal finance. In 2010 he was selected as a DealPro.

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