People look forward to Black Friday to get huge discounts and offers. But are those discounts even real? 

A user asked the forum, “What is your opinion of Black Friday?” Here are the top responses. 


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“Go biking, hiking, or sleep in. Don’t buy stuff that you don’t need.”


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“I’ve worked retail electronics during Black Friday a few times so I might have some insight.

There are three types of ‘big sale deals’ you’ll likely encounter on Black Friday. In addition to regular merchandise that didn’t get any special treatment or only very minor discounts on other ‘popular’ stuff, you’ll see:

First is the Old stuff. That laptop was $800 when it was brand new. Three years ago. But now you can get a (still technically) ‘brand new’ laptop for $300 off! Wow! 

Yeah, it’s still in the box and has its meager 1-year manufacturer warranty, but you could now get more value for your money than a used Craigslist find. Plus, they might try and sell you a store extended warranty, which is a high-markup item that’ll easily make up for any losses they take.

Second is high-markup stuff that’s been marked down. That Monster HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable cost the store about $8; they sell it for $60. But they have a Black Friday deal where you can get it for $30, or even $20 if you get a television with it! Get your cables from a more reputable online vendor. Bits are bits.

Third is cheap junk. Have you ever seen a guy with a new but flimsy gas grill? Like where the screw holes don’t line up correctly, and it’s pretty crooked, and it’s a brand you’ve never heard of? Or stuff powered by a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port but doesn’t do anything? Or toys that no children would want but people buy? 

Think of the ‘hard, grocery store, penny candy’ of the retail world. The stuff in grandma’s jar is on the table in her living room. That’s been there since your dad lived in that house. It is like dollar store stuff, and it still only costs a dollar, but it’s a bigger deal because it’s at a store that’s ‘better” than the dollar store.

Much of this stuff is priced close to normal but is surrounded by hype. Think console launches, Tickle-Me Elmo, and things like that. 

Sometimes, retailers will take $5 off the price of a popular $80 product. If it’s popular enough, you’ll get that many more people in the store, and Black Friday is all about volume generated from hype.”


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“I tend to find lower prices online or on Cyber Monday. The electronic deals can usually be purchased online without waiting in line for hours. From what I read, stores like to have a minimal amount of ‘door-busters’ to get you inside. I even noticed they put out products on display at their usual prices, and customers eat them up without thinking.”


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“I have never participated and never plan to, but from what I’ve seen online of how it’s depicted, it looks pretty stupid and mindless.”


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“I live my life frugally, but I never value goods or saving money over my life. I know the odds of me being the one to get a gun pulled on them or trampled are pretty slim, but I don’t see any deal being worth the minute risk. People are crazy.”


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“It’s okay. I’ve done it several times to get a specific loss leader item. My advice is to plan and shop for specific items, but that’s because I want to get in and get out rather than wander through crowded stores.

If you can get deep discounts on stuff you genuinely need/want that you plan to purchase anyway, it’s frugal and sensible.”


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“Viewing it from outside, it looks like a mania. Yes, there’s $400 off the television, but will you get up in the middle of the night to fight lunatics for it?”


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“I loathe Black Friday. People going nuts for sales is ridiculous. If I need anything, I wait for Cyber Monday, or I buy it at a different time when it’s on sale again.”


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“Since some people prefer working holidays for the extra pay (some places) and to get away from family obligations, I don’t boycott it, but I’m also not at the stores by 5 a.m.

Craft stores like AC Moores and Joanns have slamming deals, and the stores aren’t crowded at all. For clothes, wait till Cyber Monday for deals from Old Navy and places like that. All depends on what you’re looking for.”


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“Instead of waiting in lines, I shop online on Thanksgiving day before any family dinner. Some stores will have their Black Friday deals on their website available for purchase. Like any other sale, you must pay attention to the prices. 

Not all Black Friday deals are so great. Plus, when you shop online, it’s easy to compare shop versus being in the moment in a store with rabid people all around you.”


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“My time and sanity are far more valuable than the money I’d be ‘saving’ on things I probably don’t need in the first place. The deals are not that good. It’s pretty well known that door-busters are the only significant discounts, and they’re designed to get people in the store to buy everything else that looks like it’s on sale but was actually just marked up past its original price and then marked down.

50% off at Express is a regular occurrence. If they do what the Banana Republic does during their ‘sales’ and return everything to their MSRPs (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price), 50% off isn’t a good deal. More importantly, Charles Tyrwhitt shirts are far better quality and as inexpensive as anything at Express. Their regular deal is four shirts for $200, but they routinely have sales where shirts are $30-$40 each.”


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A user said, “Their quality is pretty cheap, but they charge twice to thrice more than brands that have similar quality. You’re better off going to H&M or Uniqlo.”

Another added, “Most of the seemingly incredible door-busters deals are for bad-quality products produced just for Black Friday. You’re paying less, but in many cases, you’re also getting worse build quality, poorer materials, fewer features, and a shorter warranty. There are often much better times of the year to buy those products.

That said, there are deals to be had, but in most cases, they won’t be the door-busters. Also, the stuff worth buying in December will probably be on sale throughout the holiday season, so if you miss out on Black Friday, there’s always Cyber Monday or all the other deals that run through December.”


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“I enjoy black Friday. I spend most of the year being frugal, rarely spending, so black Friday is the one day of the year for me to find the door-busters that meet my needs or possibly wants and get them.

For example, this year, I’m selling my 70″ Vizio from last year and getting the 65″ Vizio or the 50” Vizio from Walmart. I am also selling my Xbox 360 and getting an Xbox One. All in all, I should come out to a net cost of $0 or a profit for the whole ordeal, so I expect it to be all right.

Also, I enjoy the adrenaline rush of a deal. I can’t get over it, so that’s a fun part for me but also a stressful role.”


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“Check and see what benefits your credit cards offer. Some include price protection, which allows you to match a lower advertised price (with various restrictions) within a given period (typically 60-90 days).

Buy items in early/mid-November, then keep an eye on prices. If one of your purchases goes on sale, submit a claim and collect the difference.” 


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“I think it’s disgusting and don’t take part.”


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“A few years back, I went to Walmart for Black Friday. One guy pulled a gun on another guy over the last copy of a game. The game wasn’t even on sale. He could have returned a few days later and bought it for the same price. Instead, he was arrested for threatening someone with a gun.

I haven’t gone Black Friday shopping since.”


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“Please don’t support this nonsense. Signed, a Target employee who has to report to work at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.”


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“The only questions you need to ask yourself from a frugal point of view are:

Is this the only time something will be available?

Is this the lowest price ever?

Do I save money/time/effort by shopping on Black Friday?

Reasons why one should or shouldn’t waste the money?

If you’re going out buying stuff ‘just because it’s on sale,’ then you’re not planning your Black Friday activities with a frugal mindset. In your own words, you’re wasting money.

Now, you say you need a new wardrobe. Then, make a list of what you need and shop that list for clothes purchases that make sense. 

Take advantage of sales that save money so your wardrobe doesn’t break the bank. Just be mindful, everything about Black Friday is designed to put you in ‘buying frenzy’ mode, not frugal mode.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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