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Know your Black Friday myths before you shop

It is never too early to get ready for Black Friday and one way to get ready is to know the myths about the day. We are not talking about origin stories, but the common ideas people have about the shopping experience, such as "Black Friday begins on Black Friday," or "If you shop on Black Friday you will die at the hands of a crazed shopper."

Dealnews.com busts several myths — and in the process gives some advice that can save money.

For example, the myth that the sale begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving is pretty much dissolving away. DealNews says it sees more great deals on Thanksgiving than on Friday. "Moreover, this year there are only 25 days (4 full weekends) between Black Friday and Christmas, so we expect to see retailers releasing Black Friday sales as early as two weeks before the namesake day," DealNews says.

Seeing people camp outside a Wal-Mart makes great TV for local news, but it is a myth to think this is the only way to get a great deal. "More and more Black Friday deals are available online as well as in-store. In fact, data from previous years has shown that up to 70 percent of in-store Black Friday deals were also available online for the same price — or less!" DealNews says. Just be aware that just because an order is processed online, doesn't mean you'll get the item — online retailers sometimes have "inaccurate inventory and will sometimes let consumers buy an item that is actually out of stock," DealNews says.

Some people may think Black Friday has the best sales of the year. Maybe, DealNews says, but "you should probably wait to buy toys, brand-name HDTVs, and winter apparel. Toys see the deepest discounts right before Christmas; brand-name HDTVs sink in price between December and February; and winter apparel sales are best after Christmas." Also, watch out and don't be hooked by mediocre sale items among the doorbusters.

The Wall Street Journal crunched the pricing numbers last year and found that many items are offered with better bargains throughout the year — and even during the holidays.

The sales cost depends a lot on the time of the year and season, The Wall Street Journal says:

  • Watches and jewelry get more expensive as the season progresses.
  • Blenders get less expensive as the holidays come to a close.
  • Ugg boots were cheapest in September or October.
  • Flat screen TVs get more expensive as Christmas approaches.
  • For items that stores have too many in their inventory, prices will fall.
Marketplace Money says it is a myth that the reason why stores are opening on Thanksgiving evening is because shoppers want to shop more.

As for the violence, DealNews says "no store wants instances of violence associated with their name in the news, so they will do everything in their power to keep things in check."

DealNews looks at other myths, too:

  • Stores have tons of their "doorbuster" deals. Nope.
  • Sale items won't be matched at other stores. Actually, often they will.
  • The best deals are in the ads. Not always, people should check for updates.
  • People can always return items. Sorry, many stores tighten returns policies during the holiday.
  • Cyber Monday deals are better than Black Friday deals. Nope.
PopSugar blog adds another myth: That Black Friday is worth it. "Once you add up all the time you will spend not only online but also in stores hunting for a deal, you have to ask yourself if it's worth the effort. Do you really need that new laptop? Did you buy something similar last year?"

GenXMoms lists some other overlooked Black Friday myths, such as Black Friday marks the start of the Zombie apocalypse. "Not true," the blog states. "The Zombie uprising is no more likely to happen on Black Friday than on any other day of the year. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security—the Zombie apocalypse will occur, so remain vigilant and keep your machete nearby at all times."

EMAIL: mdegroote@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @degroote

Facebook: facebook.com/madegroote



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