If you are waiting for Black Friday deals this year as inflation and interest rates continue to put pressure on U.S. consumers, you should be careful to make sure you are actually getting a deal.
“While Black Friday is traditionally associated with the best prices relative to the rest of the year, we should pause from our spending and ask how good of a deal we are really getting,” according to a new report from WalletHub. “As it turns out, 27% of items will offer no savings compared to their pre-Black Friday prices this year.”
Each year, the holiday shopping season starts not long after Thanksgiving ends, with sales beginning at midnight Friday. This is typically the busiest shopping day of the year. Last year, 66.5 million people shopped in person on Black Friday and 88 million made purchases online.
However, 28% of American consumers plan to spend less during the 2022 holiday season relative to 2021, said WalletHub, a personal finance website. For its recent report, WalletHub compared the pre-Black Friday prices against the actual Black Friday prices for “a broad selection of items.”
While “electronics are always discounted, and one can get excellent deals if one shops around,” according to Professor Denise T. Ogden of Penn State Lehigh Valley, WalletHub’s price analysis found that computers and phone deals offered the least amount of savings this Black Friday.
According to WalletHub, the top 10 best discounts offered this Black Friday are:
1. The Home Depot’s $1,599 Osaki TITAN Pro 8500 Massage Chair, a $1,156 discount
2. Costco’s $1,100 LG gram 17" Evo Laptop, a $316 discount
3. Costco’s $700 Beautyrest 12" King Size Mattress, a $399 discount
4. Newegg’s $1,199 Yeyian Gaming Desktop Kunai X21, a $300 discount
5. Target’s $1,241 Lenovo ThinkStation P340, a $478 discount
6. BJ’s $1,000 Trinity 6-Pc. Garage Storage System, a $500 discount
7. Best Buy’s $350 Therabody RecoveryAir Compression System, a $399 discount
8. The Home Depot’s $1,498 Samsung 28.2 cu. Ft. 3-Door Refrigerator, a $351 discount
9. Academy Sports + Outdoors’ $450 Pit Boss Navigator 850 Wood Pellet Grill, a $409 discount
10. Best Buy’s $150 SanDisk Portable 2TB External USB-C SSD, a $310 discount
People hoping to score deals should also have luck with consumer packaged goods, appliances and furniture, per the WalletHub analysis.
“The key to avoiding ‘bait and switch’ types of promotions is to do your homework,” said Dorothy Harpool of Wichita State University. “Consumers should research the price and quality of items and make a rational decision about a purchase as opposed to just buying what seems to be a ‘steal’ but ultimately does not truly meet the needs of the buyer. Also, if a store is out of the specific product you seek, do not be afraid to walk away and look for the product somewhere else.”
Ogden said that shoppers should prepare to get the most out of Black Friday by making a list of the gifts they plan to buy and doing their own price checking before heading to the store or filling up an online shopping cart.