23% of Consumers Plan to Do Most of Their Holiday Shopping on Black Friday. Here's Why That Could Be a Mistake

by Maurie Backman | Published on Nov. 17, 2021

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Man at home shopping for savings account.

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You may want to spread out your holiday shopping rather than stick to a single day of deals.


Key points

  • A new survey reveals that many consumers will do the bulk of their shopping on Black Friday.
  • While there may be deals to be had that day, relying too heavily on it could cost you.

If there's one shopping event consumers tend to get excited about year after year, it's Black Friday. It's not uncommon for retailers to offer massive savings on popular products the day after Thanksgiving, which explains why so many people are willing to get up early, brave the crowds, and hit the stores rather than sleep in and indulge in leftovers.

In a recent survey by Bank of America, 23% of consumers say they intend to do the bulk of their holiday shopping on Black Friday. Here's why that could end up being a mistake.

1. There may be better deals before or after Black Friday

While it's true good deals can be found on Black Friday, it's not your only opportunity to snag discounts. In fact, depending on the items you're looking for, you may find there are better deals to be had before or after Black Friday.

Furthermore, a lot of the items that are heavily discounted on Black Friday are extremely limited in supply. Even if you're willing to hit the stores early, you might still get beat out by those hard-core shoppers who have been parked outside since 3:00 AM. What might then happen is that you wind up buying replacement items for the things you miss out on at a higher price point than you can comfortably afford.

2. You might feel pressured to buy things and make poor choices

There's a lot of pressure to make the most of Black Friday and take advantage of all those deals. But that could cause you to purchase items you don't actually want or need.

Imagine you're walking through your local big box store on Black Friday and notice a kitchen gadget that normally retails for $79 marked down to $39. Seeing that deal might trigger something in your brain to scoop that item up.

But here's the thing. If you were never planning to buy that item in the first place, purchasing it for $39 won't mean saving $40. It'll just mean you've now spent $39 for no good reason. And that's $39 you won't have for something you wanted from the start.

3. You might lose track of your spending and end up in debt

When you spread your holiday shopping across several weeks, you can check your rising credit card balances as you go to help ensure you don't wind up spending too much. But if you engage in a day-long shopping frenzy, you might lose track of your spending and rack up a total tab you can't pay off by the time your credit card bills come due.

The result? An unwanted pile of debt you risk carrying with you into the new year.

There's nothing wrong with doing some of your holiday shopping on Black Friday. At the same time, you may want to spread out your purchases over the course of several weeks rather than cram the majority of them into a single day. Doing so could help you score better discounts, avoid succumbing to pressure, and steer clear of a situation where you have a credit card balance hanging over your head.

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