In just a few weeks we’ll all be bombarded with pre-Black Friday ads and promotions as we flip through the channels or tune into your favorite radio station. But before you put together your list and get ready to face the shopping anarchy on November 27th, there are some shopping precautions you may want to take.
In this week’s credit blog, we’re going to look at the facts, the deals, and the safest shopping methods for your 2015 Black Friday.
First, let’s get some of the Black Friday facts straight. In 2013 $12.9 Billion dollars was spent on retail sales on Black Friday. $1.964 Billion was spent on online retail. In 2012, $59 billion dollars was spent on Black Friday weekend (Thurs-Sun). That averages out to about $423 per individual shopper. The average holiday shopper will spend around $804 for the entire holiday season. According to these statistics, more than half of holiday shopping is done on Black Friday.
Are those “Outrageous Doorbusters” really THAT outrageous? On Black Friday you will see doorbuster sales in every store you go. You may even camp out in line to secure your item. Just remember retailers aren’t here to give you a deal. Retailers are here to make money and turn a profit. Once you’re in the store and you get that doorbuster, prepare to be pounded with a plethora of add on items that seem to fit so well with you “deal”. Once you walk out of the store chances are you’ve spent more than you’ve planned and bought things you didn’t need.
Opening Store Cards
You’ve stood in line for an hour waiting to get into the store. You’ve shopped for an hour, and now you’ve been standing in line for another hour waiting to check out. Suddenly a new lane opens up and the cashier says “Anyone opening up a new store card can come to this line.” Sounds tempting doesn’t it? They may even offer you another 20% off on your purchase on top of the line cut.
While you time and possibly money will be saved, your credit score will take a hit. Taking on new debt and a new inquiry will cause your credit score to drop. On top of that, most consumers will pay off the debt in increments. This will cause you to pay interest on the purchase. Now that great deal you just got doesn’t happen to be a deal at all and you may wind up paying even more than you thought.
No Payments Until 1 Year
Retailers will try to get you to buy large purchases with the promise of delayed payments. “Buy now and you won’t pay until next year!” What they won’t tell you is once your payments begin, you’ll still have to pay interest for that entire year you weren’t paying. Suddenly, this doesn’t sound too great. If you do fall victim to this scheme, make sure you pay off the entire purchase BEFORE your payments start. This way you can avoid all those pesky interest fees.
Last year Target fell victim to a massive security data breach. Millions of Black Friday shoppers had credit card info and valuable personal information stolen. Data breaches seem to be showing up more and more in today’s tech filled world. If you fall victim to one, your credit could suffer for the rest of your life.
The simplest solution to this: Pay in cash! If you are going out shopping this Black Friday, it might be a good idea to swing by the bank and take your shopping budget with you. This way you can protect yourself against cyber criminals and stay within your budget as well.
For more do’s and dont’s of credit, consult our credit blog here!
For more information on data breaches, check out Data Breaches: Why you Should Worry