The busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, is in full swing and shoppers are packing stores in record numbers to grab the perfect holiday gift, but are they really saving money?
A new WalletHub study shows Black Friday sales don’t offer the year’s cheapest prices; in fact, 17 percent of items are actually more expensive while 1 in 10 deals were offered last year.
Marianne Bickle, chair of the retailing and hospitality department at the University of South Carolina, told WalletHub many consumers can get stressed out thinking they need to buy expensive gifts for everyone. She advises shoppers to do their research and create a plan before hitting the stores to part with their hard-earned cash.
“Never pay full price. Take advantage of all discount opportunities. Have a plan; stick to the plan.”
There are some great sale deals available to consumers during Black Friday, but some items are actually priced higher than normal.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 26, 2015
Books, movies and music offer shoppers the best deals during Black Friday while jewelry is often the worst.
Big-ticket electronic items are often cheaper on Black Friday than during the rest of the year, meaning shoppers looking to purchase a flat screen TV, computer, or Blue Ray player are in luck.
Clothing is also usually a good deal with many retailers offering deep discounts to drive customers through their doors.
Some items, however, are priced higher as retailers hope consumers already in their store won’t notice the price increase.
At Sears, many large appliances are actually hundreds of dollars more expensive. The price hike list includes the LG Gas Self-Clean Range, LG Door-in-Door French Door Refrigerator, the LG French Door Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator and the LG Four-Door Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator.
At Big Lots, almost 6 percent of the Black Friday deals are a repeat from last year and at a 5 percent price increase.
The Urban Boy Beach Cruiser bicycle from Amazon is almost $40 higher, as is the Razor McGrath Motocross Bike. It is $120 more on Black Friday.
The Proform Hybrid Cycle and Elliptical Trainer offer from Groupon is almost $68 more expensive than previously offered deals.
At JCPenney, Kitchen Aid mixers are priced higher during Black Friday than during the rest of the year.
Check out the complete report on Black Friday sale deals.
— Marketing Magazine (@MarketingUK) November 27, 2015
Vicki Morwitz, a marketing professor at New York University told WalletHub, shoppers need to be disciplined in their Christmas shopping if they want to save the most money.
“Consumers need to trade off the value of their time and whether they enjoy this kind of shopping. Consumers need to be aware that while these deep discounts are often very good, they are offered to lure customers into the store.”
Experts recommend shoppers take caution and read the fine print before parting with their cash. Some things to consider before spending that hard-earned dough include return policies, warranties, restocking fees and return time.
Some stores are starting to charge additional fees for restocking electronic goods, meaning a decision to return that big-ticket item can wind up being a costly mistake.
Meanwhile, many toys and games are often offered at better discounts in December than on Black Friday, making rush shopping a bad idea.
With all the hassle and the crowded stores, shopping on Black Friday can be very frustrating. For shoppers who are intent on hitting the stores, experts recommend doing their research and sticking to a plan for the best deals.
Check back with the Inquisitr for the best Cyber Monday deals.
[Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images]