Black Friday Creep Looms, But Prices May Not Be As Low As They Appear

Black Friday 2012: Even Pregnant Women Are Camping Out Early

Black Friday sales may not feature the best pricing you’ll see all year, an analysis reveals, as shoppers ready to head out earlier than ever on Thanksgiving to snag all the best Black Friday deals.

“Black Friday creep,” as it has been termed, has invaded even the night of Thanksgiving as the bounds of the Christmas shopping season are tested — but after all this hype, many items offered as doorbusters and other pricing incentives may have been quietly cheaper at retailers earlier this year. (And may be later in the 2012 shopping season.)

Black Friday deals are very well advertised, and the relatively new and earlier openings to maximize sales this year have come under fire for eroding what was a traditional, sacrosanct American holiday. A number of shoppers have complained that retail workers are expected to man the Black Friday chaos on Thanksgiving Day itself, in an exercise that may not have all that much of a difference on profits, anyway.

But the analysis also reveals that Black Friday pricing is often higher than non-sale prices. According to UPI, one out of every three Black Friday “steals” you encounter may actually be somewhat of a markup:

“Seattle price-data firm Decide Inc. examined more than 500 “doorbuster” deals advertised in Black Friday circulars by large retailers including Sears, Target and Best Buy and found nearly a third of the discounted products were sold at lower prices earlier in the year, the Journal said …”

Make and list and check it twice to get the best deals on Black Friday, and know what to avoid.

“For instance, a KitchenAid Artisan Series Stand Mixer is to be sold at Sears Friday for $319.99. But the retailer offered the same mixer for $296 in March, Decide told the Journal.”

The piece notes that companies “don’t generally promise Black Friday prices are the lowest ever,” but with all the Black Friday creep we’re seeing and this uncomfortable drafting of retail workers to be on the clock for what was one of three or four guaranteed family days each year, maybe we all need to get a Black Friday grip.