Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Black Friday is highly overrated

Myths about the day after Thanksgiving have been exposed. And, no, it's not the biggest shopping day of the year.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2010 6:04PM

When you're born without the shopping gene, Black Friday is nothing to get excited about. But, according to a new post at, even if you love to shop, it's not all it's been cracked up to be -- certainly not a reason to fight crowds at 4 in the morning.

In fact, the benefit of camping out is No. 3 on dealnews' list of 15 Black Friday myths that don't match the facts:

These days, more and more Black Friday deals are available online as well as in-store. Couple that with the fact that many Black Friday doorbusters are either matched or beaten later in the season, and you can only conclude that it's not worth camping out for Black Friday specials. At most stores, being first in line to go in at 5 a.m. only guarantees that you'll get shoved around as the 500 people behind you are also let in.

Among other Black Friday myths that are busted:

  • Black Friday starts on Black Friday. Actually, you can find many Black Friday deals online on Turkey Day, and some are quickly sold out. You'll also find BF deals online that don't appear in the sales circulars.
  • BF is the busiest shopping day of the year. No. That would be the Saturday before Christmas.
  • BF prices are always sale prices. Dealnews says: "In the past several years, retailers have been caught red-handed jacking up prices before Black Friday, then lowering them with supposed discounts that leave the price higher than it was before." Shocking, we know. You can avoid this trap by knowing what stuff really costs. Start tracking prices now. They may very well go down after Black Friday has come and gone.
  • BF is the best day to buy a new TV. It may be the best day to buy a TV made by some company you've never heard of, but the top brands likely won't be at their lowest price that day, dealnews says.
  • If you want to return BF purchases, the store is OK with that. Numerous sources report that stores are tightening their return policies and demanding personal information like an e-mail address, phone number or credit card information so they can track "serial returners" -- SmartMoney says fraudulent returns cost stores $9.6 billion last year -- and also send you ads and sell your info to marketers.

Also, SmartMoney tried to return items to numerous stores and rarely got cash. Store credit is more common.


The strangest myth on dealnews' list: BF doorbusters are free. Not so. "If you find a free TV on Black Friday, please send us a photo of it alongside your pet unicorn," dealnews said.


What are your Black Friday plans? Will you be home in bed or standing in line, waiting to get through the doors?


More from MSN Money:

Oct 27, 2010 1:31PM
My Black Friday plans?  I will be at work -- in a store -- laughing at all the insane shoppers.  And then, when I get off work, I will go to a Mexican restaurant and order a margarita big enough to swim in.
Oct 27, 2010 2:00PM
I just started black friday shopping last year when it was important to me that I save money.  Well, I didn't really save money, I still spent the same amount I always do each Christmas, but I certainly got better things for less money.  My favorite was a DS game for $15 off. (they are usually around $30, and I got it for $15).  I am hooked now on black friday shopping.  There was something so incredibly wonderful with going to the store at 6 a.m. with a LIST in hand (I didn't shop aimlessly, I tracked the sales and decided what I was getting before I went there) and being done with ALL my christmas shopping by 11 a.m.  I didn't have to worry about it for the next month.  My friends shop thanksgiving night (or starting at midnight I think) and shop until the next afternoon.  I am not crazy.  Although last year I did wake up at midnight to check toys r us website because they said they would have a bunch of things on their website at the same deals, but they did not!  Then later that night me and my husband go out to dinner with all of our friends and talk about our purchases.  The dinner part is tradition, and now I will make black friday shopping my new tradition every year.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.