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According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer plans to spend $1,007.24 this holiday season. If you are like many consumers, you will spend hours hunting for the best deal. It’s hard to resist the enticing price cuts and bargains during the holiday season.

If you think some deals are too good to be true, they might be. Keeping consumers in the dark maximizes profits for your favorite stores. So, if you’re going to spend some time this season searching for the best prices, here are some things retailers don’t want you to know about holiday shopping.

Black Friday Deals Are Not Always the Best Deals

It may seem counterintuitive, but Black Friday doesn’t always offer the best deals. There are plenty of times throughout the year when you can find steals on the items you’re in search of. Finding the best deal may strictly rely on what items you’re looking for.

For example, if you want to purchase jewelry it may be best to wait. Since so many people are in search of a piece of glittery metal, jewelers may not be motivated to roll out any special deals. You may want to wait until after Valentine’s Day to search for a bargain on jewelry.

Another item you may want to forgo purchasing during the holidays is winter apparel. Retailers may mark down these items, but you may find better deals after January.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that some retailers won’t have decent deals on Black Friday. It simply means you need to be mindful when purchasing specific items on the day after Thanksgiving.

Product Quality Can Vary from Product to Product

You want to keep your eye out for items that are specifically made for Black Friday or the holiday season. Sometimes retailers will roll out electronics or other items that are created with a limited supply.

These items may not have a price history and may be assembled with mediocre parts. Essentially, retailers are not building them to last. It makes it challenging to compare products when you can’t find the price history or consumer reviews on the product.

So, before you head out and purchase a new TV, do a little research. Identify the specification of the equipment and find items to compare it to. This will help you make an educated purchasing decision while staying within your budget.

Consumers Who Chase Sales Tend to Spend More

According to The Center for the New Middle Class, consumers who chase sales are 45% more likely to spend more than they originally planned during the holidays. Additionally, consumers who clip coupons spend 22% more than they had intended to.

Retailers know that if they entice you with sales, you are likely to spend more than anticipated. Once they get you in the store, they have your attention.

In order to avoid overspending, create a budget and a shopping list. Try not to fall victim to this retail trap. If you do want to visit a sale at your favorite retailer, be sure to keep your budget in mind.

Impulse Buys Are Highly Encouraged

Many retailers will pack their checkout lines with candy, toys and other stocking stuffers. When heading to check out, try to avoid the urge to purchase these items. Retailers hope you will splurge and purchase a few items on your way out the door.

If these items aren’t on your shopping list, it will only be an impulse buy.

There are Limited Amounts of Doorbusters During Black Friday

Doorbusters are specials that retailers like to drastically mark down. The majority of the time, the doorbuster item will have a very limited quantity available. Since the quantity is so limited, it’s very unlikely that you will have the opportunity to purchase one of these items.

Many of these items are used to entice consumers into the store. The retailer hopes that even if you don’t get the doorbuster, you will purchase another item.

Shopping Locally May Have More Benefits than You Think

If you want a different holiday shopping experience this season, you may want to try shopping at your local stores. In 2010, American Express rolled out Small Business Saturday®. Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday focus mainly on big-name retailers, this day encourages consumers to frequent local stores.

Even if you don’t make it to Small Business Saturday, small retailers may still offer other benefits such as personalized shopping experiences or unique product selections. Keep in mind, a lot of the money spent in local stores goes back to the community in the form of wages and taxes.

Some Deals May Not Be as Good as They Seem

You may think you have the upper hand by doing research and comparing items, but some retailers find other ways to outsmart you. According to Consumer Reports, some retailers discount models that you didn’t see earlier in the year or some stores don’t carry. This makes it extremely difficult to compare items.

TVs are popular items retailers like to discount. There are plenty of variations of TV models making it confusing when trying to figure out if you’re getting a good deal. Try doing as much research as you can to ensure you are getting the best bargain available.

Be Mindful of Return Policies

How many items do you think you’ll return or exchange this holiday season? Many retailers have various return policies on sale and holiday items, making it challenging to keep track of each policy. Before you make any purchase, be sure to check the retailer’s return policy.

It’s likely you will return something during this season. You want to be 100% sure you understand each retailer’s return policy before purchasing any items.

The Bottom Line

During the holidays there are plenty of deals available. However, it’s important to do your research and compare similar items before venturing out to your favorite retailer. Depending on the items you want, there may be a better time of the year to purchase the items you seek.

What was the best deal you found during the holidays? Please share in the comments below.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Years ago my HS Economics teacher said that what he wrote on the boatd is everything you need to know about econ: T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L.
    There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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