Are you already looking for Black Friday deals or Cyber Monday sales? We all know that nowadays we have the reputation of achieving every bargain hunter’s dream because retailers cut prices on a limited number of items at a cost equal to or less than the cost. But are these Black Friday offerings really an “agreement”?
Well, the day after Thanksgiving is called “Black Friday” for a reason. For retailers, its all about increasing their sales “to the black” on profitability. Profits are made by not offering merchandise at a loss, but selling at super low prices to lure it to their stores where they can try to use sneaky tricks to get their money.
To survive this holiday season with your wallet intact and make the “Best deals on Black Friday 2018” profitable for you, not for the stores, review these five shopping tips:
1) Watch out for discounted sales and “Add-Ons”
As mentioned earlier, many retailers promote “porta-buster” sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to lure you to the store or online for you to spend more. Often, stores offer a very limited amount of “door-buster” offers that can force you to buy a similar item at the normal price. This is a classic scheme of “bait and trade”. Stores may also try to sell a cheap product with a very expensive warranty. Or, a seller says that you need to purchase additional software, accessories, or other over-priced add-ons as a requirement for the product, but that information has not been announced or included in the price. Typically, you can discover this information in the registry. If the price on record is higher than advertised for any reason, ask to speak to a supervisor and insist on the advertised price.
2) Buy early for “Hot-items”
Do not procrastinate and wait until the last minute for “hot items”. Plan your shopping strategy days in advance and make sure you have alternatives. Use diligently shopping comparison sites and sign up for email alerts from your favorite stores.
3) Protect Yourself Online
Fake sales or “bait and switch” tactics also happen online. For example, a website can advertise an item at a very cheap price, but the product is not in stock, so they try to get to you to buy something else at a higher cost. Or, if you just try to buy the sales item, the retailer will cancel the order claiming that the product has been ordered back or will send a substandard product that you did not request. If one of these practices occurs, exercise consumer rights including by seeking appeals if your request fails to arrive on time or by contesting questionable charges on your credit card.
4) Do not buy unnecessary guarantees
Retailers of home appliances and electronics always ask if you want an extended warranty when you purchase those items. In most cases “just say no” Why? These stores keep 50% or more of what they charge for the warranty and studies show that the products rarely break down within the extended warranty period – ie after the standard warranty ends and within two to three years of purchase. In addition, the manufacturer’s standard warranty covers many of the repairs included in an extended warranty. But if you are looking for peace of mind or the price to repair the product is extremely high after the expiration of the standard warranty, make sure your credit card offers similar coverage or try to negotiate a better price,
5) Understand Return and Price Matching Policies
You can get the best price without any hassles if you know in advance the pricing and return policy of a store. Many stores offer price matching guarantees ( if a competitor offers a lower price, it will match it). However, items purchased on Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be exempt from general store policy. Some stores have a return policy which, in fact, is a guarantee of price matching for the store itself (if the price drops, the difference will be returned later if you request it). If you know which product you plan to buy and find a store with a price match guarantee that honors Black Friday prices, get it in advance. When black Friday rolls, you can look for the best price and not have to worry if the store is out of stock. If a store is willing to refund the difference between its regular price and the Black Friday price, buy it in advance for the same reason.
Remember, to make a jump on great Best deals on Black Friday 2018 and Cyber Monday sales, start planning now, research your purchases and, above all, spread your good mood.