Hi and welcome to The Motley Fool’s Bottom
Line series. In this episode, we’re talking about Black Friday and whether the shopping
day is actually a good thing for consumers in stores, and which items you should be wary
of buying on America’s biggest shopping day of the year.
Last year, Black Friday was the biggest day of retail sales in the U.S., with consumers
spending 121% more than they do on the average day. But over the years, the importance of
Black Friday has shifted a bit as more retailers have started to offer deals much earlier in
the shopping season than before, which is why it’s helpful to take a look at sales from
all of November and December to get a better picture of just how big the U.S. holiday shopping
season is. This year, The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday retail sales
during these two months will be about $729 billion, which is an increase of about 4%
from 2018. When you break down that by individual consumer spending, the average U.S. consumer
will spend about $1,047 this holiday season. With all of this spending being spread out
over two months, the importance of Black Friday has faded just a little, and not all stores
benefit from the massive shopping day. Smaller malls that have lost some bigger anchor stores
and don’t get a lot of foot traffic to begin with probably don’t see a huge boost from
Black Friday shopping. The data suggests that Black Friday might not be all it’s cracked
up to be for consumers, either. Nearly 48 million Americans are still paying credit
card debt from last year’s holiday shopping season. Unfortunately, more than 60% of U.S.
shoppers have already felt pressure to overspend on gifts and travel this year.
Cutting off all holiday gift-buying may be too drastic for many Americans, but there
are a few items in Black Friday sales that you should be wary of. The first one is toys.
Generally speaking, toys go on sale closer to Christmas Day rather than earlier. If you
see Black Friday deals for some of this year’s hottest toys, it may not be the best deal
you could get this holiday season. TVs are also a popular item for Black Friday, but
many times, these models being sold are either older or not name brand. These TVs may be
of lower quality than you expect. So, if you find a Black Friday TV deal from a brand you’ve
never heard of, keep in mind that it might not be a purchase you’ll be
happy with a year from now. Additionally, if you’re looking to buy a new
gaming console, you may want to wait. New versions of Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s
Xbox are coming out later next year. You may be able to get a good deal on the current
version now, but just know that a newer one is right around the corner. Finally, any deal
where you have to submit a mail-in rebate may be a good one to skip. It’s easy to forget
to submit your rebate especially during the holidays, which means you may end up paying
full-price for something when you thought you were getting a good deal. As you shop this holiday season, remember
that setting a budget and sticking to it is one of the best ways to keep yourself from
overspending. Also, do your homework to make sure that any deal you think you’re getting
is in fact a good deal. Do some basic comparison shopping, and don’t be sucked in by a low
price tag. And finally, remember that it’s easy to get caught up in all the shopping
and forget that spending too much money this holiday season will likely just add to your
credit card balance without adding much to your overall happiness.
Thanks for watching this video. Do you plan to go out on Black Friday, or do you stay
away from the shopping day all together? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked
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