Looking to buy a new TV this holiday season? Waiting until Black Friday could be a big mistake.
Data from consumer-price research firm Decide Inc. shows that many of the holiday’s most popular gifts -- ranging from flat-screened TVs to stuffed animals -- are not sold at their lowest price on Black Friday. In fact, many items are cheaper at other times during the year.
Decide Inc. discovered that a Samsung 46-inch LCD television averaged $1,159 in October from 2008 through 2011, but sold for around $1,355 on Black Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported. Female shoppers looking for Ugg Boots in September or October paid around $85 whereas Black Friday bargain hunters paid about $136 -- 59 percent more.
Black Friday also might not be an ideal time to buy Apple products. Despite the hype usually associated with Apple’s Black Friday sale, items are typically only marked down around 5 to 10 percent. To score the real discounts, DealNews suggests taking advantage of the sales at retailers like Amazon and Best Buy who could offer around 25-percent off on Black Friday this year.
"In the old days, all of the great deals were on Black Friday, but now you see some great deals on Black Friday and lots of offers throughout the season," chief executive of electronic-toy maker LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. John Barbour told the Wall Street Journal.
A record 226 million shoppers spent $52 billion dollars during last year’s Black Friday weekend, according to the National Federation of Retailers. The average customer spent $398.62 in 2011, up from $365.34 the year before.
The best bargain shoppers have already noticed the trend and are starting their shopping before Thanksgiving. RetailMeNot.com, the largest online coupon site in the United States, recently found that close to 40 percent of shoppers begin their holiday spending before November. Some retailers have started to offer more deals before Black Friday as well. Last year, Amazon had a series of sales starting 24 days before Black Friday, Time Moneyland reports.
New findings about Black Friday aside, timing remains crucial skill for shoppers looking to score a deal during other times of the year. For example the best time to buy a car typically comes at the end of the month when dealers are looking to fill quotas. Prices of airline tickets usually go up during the weekends making Tuesday the best day to book a flight. Generally, Sunday is the best day to buy groceries.
Still craving the excitement that comes with busting down doors at midnight the night of Thanksgiving? Fear not. Some great deals still await you. Decide Inc. found that XBox gaming systems remain their cheapest on Black Friday with buyers saving more than $100.
Black Friday Romance?
<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/black-friday-shopping-spree-love-story-long-island-couple-article-1.414121" target="_hplink">According to the <em>New York Daily News</em></a>, two individuals have Black Friday to thank for their unique love-at-first-sight story. The two lovebirds struck up conversation while standing in line at a Long Island Kmart. The small talk turned into sweet talk as the two waited in line together for a total of seven hours before doors opened. Fast forward two years, and the couple is happily married with fond memories of the day they met, saying, "Black Friday will always be a memorable day for us. That was the day that changed our lives." (Getty photo)
Woman Shakes Up Shoppers With Death Threats
Shoppers were shaken up last year at Toys "R" Us in Wisconsin, when a woman named Lanessa Lattimore threatened to shoot shoppers who were waiting in line outside the store. A confrontation began after the woman tried to cut the line of several hundred people. <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2010-11-26/justice/wisconsin.shopper.threat_1_gun-threat-black-friday-shopper-huge-lines?_s=PM:CRIME" target="_hplink">Lanessa told CNN</a>, "Everybody was cutting in line. But there was one girl who was threatening me, so I told her that I'd shoot her." Although no weapon was found, she was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. (Getty photo)
Kim Kardashian: Best Black Friday Buddy?
A poll conducted by AOL back in 2009 revealed that Kim Kardashian was voted the person you'd most like to go shopping with on Black Friday, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/online-poll-kanye-west-named-year-biggest-turkey-kim-kardashian-best-black-friday-shopper-article-1.165773" target="_hplink">as the NY Daily News reported</a>. She even beat out Victoria Beckham for the best shopping buddy title. Would you want to spend Black Friday shopping with Kim? Something tells us that the poll results would be <em>quite</em> a bit different this year... (Getty photo)
... And Kayne West, The Biggest "Turkey"?
The same AOL poll that voted Kim K. as the "best shopping buddy" also revealed that Americans think Kanye West was the biggest "turkey" of 2009... whatever that means. Bear in mind that this poll took place shortly after his Taylor Swift interruption scandal at the Grammy's that year. <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/online-poll-kanye-west-named-year-biggest-turkey-kim-kardashian-best-black-friday-shopper-article-1.165773" target="_hplink">According to the New York Daily News</a>, Kanye beat out the likes of Jon Gosselin, Levi Johnston, Spencer Pratt,and Michael Lohan. In other words, it sounds like being called a "turkey" is just a kinder way of saying "biggest D-bag." (Getty photo)
Wal-Mart Employee Trampled To Death
A tragic story took place at a Wal-Mart in Long Island in 2008. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/business/29walmart.html?ref=blackfriday" target="_hplink">As the <em>New York Times</em> reported</a>, an employee by the name of Jdimytai Damour got caught amidst utter chaos in a stampede on Black Friday, resulting in his ultimate death. Sources say that Damour was literally trampled to death by crazed shoppers, although no specific individual could be called out and held responsible for the fatal accident. Wal-Mart was also slapped with a $75K fine, according to the <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/7k-fine-wal-mart-black-friday-stampede-death-article-1.404243" target="_hplink"><em>New York Daily News</em></a>.
Two Men Shot Dead At Toys "R" Us
A heated argument between two men lead to a deadly shooting at a Toys "R" Us in Palm Desert, California on the biggest sales day back in 2008. <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2008-11-28/us/black.friday.violence_1_wal-mart-worker-fleming-busiest-shopping-days/2?_s=PM:US" target="_hplink">According to CNN</a>, police still aren't completely certain about the origin of the fight, although sources believe that it was unrelated to the timing of Black Friday sales that day. Luckily, no innocent shoppers were injured during the shooting.
Shopping Cart Heist
A strange shopping cart heist took place at a Toys "R" Us in the Bronx in 2009, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/shopping-cart-thefts-began-black-friday-500-bronx-toys-article-1.435826" target="_hplink">the <em>New York Daily News</em> reported</a>. Thieves stole 500 shopping carts starting on Black Friday and continued to nab carts throughout the holiday season. Shoppers were left annoyed as they were forced to carry all of their purchases, since no carts were anywhere to be found. Police suspect that the carts -- which cost a hefty $200 a piece -- were either stolen by gang members to sell metal scraps for money or taken by homeless people who use them to carry their belongings. (AP Image)
Hotel Deals For The Extreme Shopper
When stores in Indianapolis had a super successful Black Friday back in 2009, hotels decided to try and take advantage of visiting shoppers by targeting the <em>eve</em> of Black Friday. <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2010-11-14-black-friday-hotels_N.htm" target="_hplink">According to <em>USA Today</em></a>, the Conrad Hotel was among the first to notice this opportunity and advertised to serious out-of-town shoppers who planned on rising early to hit the sales. The deal offers $99 for a room on Thanksgiving night, as well as a personal shopping appointment at Nordstrom, a free coffee and a free shoeshine. Other hotels have also developed similar deals to cash in on the night of Thanksgiving, too. It sure beats camping out overnight for the doors to open in the morning. (Getty photo)
Shooting Over Flat Screen TV
Another story that will make your heart sink: the tragic shooting of a man in Queens who was shot by robbers on Black Friday back in 2009, as the<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/black-friday-mayhem-queens-man-shot-flat-screen-tv-thugs-t-fit-set-getaway-car-article-1.413993" target="_hplink"> <em>New York Daily News</em></a> first reported. The elderly man was walking with his new flat-screen TV in a parking lot, when robbers ruthlessly shot him dead in an attempt to steal his new purchase. However, the TV didn't fit in the trunk of their getaway car, and witnesses reported that they dumped the TV on the street as they quickly fled the scene of the crime. (Getty photo)