3 Dangers of Shopping on Black Friday

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  • There are often many deals to be had on Black Friday.
  • Shopping that day could lead you to overspend or spend on the wrong items.
  • You might also end up not getting the items you think you're paying for.

Be mindful of these as you shop.

Whether you have an extensive holiday shopping list or you have a bunch of items you want to purchase for yourself, you may be planning to hit the stores on Black Friday this year. During that major sales event, you might find deals on hundreds or even thousands of items ranging from toys to apparel to electronics.

But if you're going to shop on Black Friday, it's important to have a strategy. It's also important to steer clear of these traps.

1. Getting lured in by doorbusters

Many people shop on Black Friday to take advantage of doorbusters. But retailers tend to offer those ultra-low-priced items in very limited quantities. So if you force yourself to get up at an unreasonably early hour and battle through crowds, you might still end up disappointed.

Worse yet, you might end up feeling pressured to buy something because you got up early and left the house when all you wanted to do was lounge around and gobble Thanksgiving leftovers. But that could lead to a larger credit card tab.

2. Not being able to comparison-shop

You might see a host of deals on Black Friday. But an even more impressive array of deals might hit come Cyber Monday. Since Black Friday is before Cyber Monday, shopping that day means you won't have an opportunity to compare prices and see where the best deals can be found.

So let's say you see a video game your child wants on sale from $50 down to $40 on Black Friday. You might rush to jump on that deal. But what if you then see it available for $35 on Cyber Monday? Granted, you could always return it and buy it again, but that's a hassle you may not have time for. So it pays to reserve some of your spending money for Cyber Monday.

3. Getting lower-quality versions of the items you're buying

Have you ever stopped to wonder how it is that retailers are able to offer TVs that normally sell for $1,000 for just $700 on Black Friday, or how they're able to discount laptops and other devices by $200 or more? The reason boils down to the fact that many of the electronics you'll see advertised on Black Friday aren't their original versions. Rather, they're derivative versions that are made specially for Black Friday.

Now that may not seem like a terrible thing at first. But what you should know is that many of the heavily discounted electronics you'll see advertised on Black Friday are made with inferior parts. That's how manufacturers are able to sell them to retailers at a lower price point, and that's how retailers are still able to make a profit. You may want to steer clear of Black Friday sale electronics to avoid disappointment when their components start to break down right outside of their warranty period.

A lot of people make plans to shop on Black Friday. If you're going to follow their lead, be mindful of these pitfalls -- and do your best to avoid making purchases you wind up regretting.

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