Great deals and big sales can oftentimes be found even before Black Friday, retail experts say. (Photo: Todd Plitt, USA TODAY)
Conventional wisdom says some of the best deals of the holiday
shopping season are the day after Thanksgiving -- known as Black Friday
-- or the following Monday, called Cyber Monday for its online
And it's often true, depending on what you're buying.
If it's a TV or another popular type of electronics, it sure can pay to
wait a couple weeks until the post-Thanksgiving long weekend. But for
many of the typical holiday gifts, there are great deals to be had now
when inventory is plentiful, the stores are less crowded and your stress
level isn't so high you'll be making foolish decisions.
Heck, Last Call by Neiman Marcus is selling cashmere gloves right now for $21 plus free shipping. Why wait when you can get that kind of stocking stuffer now?
Many of the big Black Friday promotions have already been announced -- well, "leaked"
-- and even more will be on deal websites in the coming days. So if
you're worried that early shopping means you'll miss out on deals, you
can do your comparison shopping now and decide whether it makes more
sense to shop later.
"At this point, half the news has already broken," says Brad Wilson, founder of BradsDeals.com and BlackFriday.BradsDeals.com.
good news for anyone who's susceptible to what you might call
"emotional shopping." And who isn't when the kids will be heartbroken if
they don't get the top toy or you want to get your spouse the perfect
something -- super cheap?
Psychologists say giving yourself plenty of time to shop -- and think about purchases -- will help keep stress levels down.
late can certainly be a problem like anything that makes you feel like
you have to have a rising sense of urgency," says David Forbes, a
psychologist who heads Forbes Consulting Group, which counts some major
retailers among its clients. "
Along with shopping early and not
trying to accomplish too much in one outing, Forbes recommends
rehearsing the "what ifs?" That is, "If i don't get it, then what? You
could get it tomorrow for maybe $5 more, but maybe that's not so bad,"
Best of all, if you're not among those who find Black Friday shopping an exciting tradition, feel free to skip the stores.
don't have to go stand in line in the parking lot" soon after you've
finished your Thanksgiving dinner, says Wilson. "Black Friday is a great
day to shop online."
And Cyber Monday is easily the best day of
the year to shop online, Wilson says. The number of coupon codes is up
5% that day, he says. If you stick to cyberspace, sure, you may miss
some of the very best, very-limited-quantity doorbuster deals that
stores have to draw in the crowds. Such as 2010's $3 toasters at Target
or the Sharp LCD HDTV which was on sale for $200 last Black Friday. But
most of the rest of the deals that day are both online and in stores.
Amazon, Newegg and Overstock also try hard to compete with
brick-and-mortar retailers on Black Friday as well, says Wilson.
There are more reasons to shop online or in stores ahead of the mobs.
people talking, texting and checking prices on their mobile devices,
any civility that was left in crowded stores is gone, says consumer
psychologist Kit Yarrow. Her pre-holiday interviews in malls and on the
phone have detected "more dread about in-person shopping than I have any
other year," says Yarrow, a marketing and psychology professor at
Golden Gate University.
That dread is well placed. When there is
stress caused by surroundings, it "sucks resources from the brain in
order to bolster the defensive mechanisms of the body," Yarrow says. And
those mechanisms "were designed to help us manage the stress of
something like a charging boar -- not the stress of holiday shopping."
makes it harder to remember a budget or calculate a discount and
easier to purchase impulsively. All of this is compounded by the more
unruly nature of today's crowds -- now more than ever we're shopping
under stress. As if all those lights, smells, memories and time and
budget constraints weren't enough!
When possible, wait 20 minutes
before buying anything that's not on your list, recommends Yarrow. She
says, "That's about how long it takes for rowdy crowds inspired
autonomic nervous system arousal to abate."
Yarrow is already
finished with her holiday shopping. Her philosophy: "Get it done, get
it mailed and enjoy the holidays! Nuff said."
Top 10 deals from BradsDeals.com:
1. 15 Bottles of Wine $90 Shipped
2. Nexus 7 32GB Tablet $229 + $40 Back!
3. Land's End Poplin Shirt $4 Shipped
4. Movado Certe Diamond Watch $625 Shipped
5. 15% off SpaFinder Gift Certificates + Free Shipping
6. Men's Nike Benassi Slides $16 Shipped
7. Canon PIXMA All in One Printer $35
8. UGG Kid's Macie Boots $32 Shipped
9. Swarovski Crystal Earrings $14 Shipped
10. Taste of Home Cookbooks & Kids Books $5