As an avid sale shopper, and lover of a good deal, I never understood the madness around Black Friday. It just never seems like you are getting a great deal, and the crowds and rowdiness of it all made it even more unappealing. I would prefer to lay around on Friday and digest last night's Thanksgiving dinner, while ordering my gifts online, or waiting until the "real" sales in January.
Per a recent study by WalletHub, it turns out that I have been wrong. While 63% of American's agreed that Black Friday does not offer the most unbeatable bargains of the year, it seems like if you are shopping in the right categories, the savings can be significant. Topping the charts for best deals by category are Video Games, with 31% of products offering additional savings if you wait until Black Friday to purchase. Other categories that have significant savings are appliances (18% of additional savings), furniture (15%), and computers and phones (14%). Products that don't save you very much are apparel & accessories (7%), and jewelry having the least savings (.4%).
The best store for Black Friday savings this year is Macy's, with an average discount of 63.4% (up from 56% last year). Other retailers offering competitive discounts are Stage (62.8%), JCPenney (62.8%), Harbor Freight (62.6%), Gordmans (61.6%), and Kohl's (58.1%).
While Black Friday offers some great deals, don't think everything you are buying is brand new. 11% of Black Friday deals are recycled from last year. Topping the chart on recycled deals is Sears, having used 28% of their products in 2015 as they are using in 2016. Other retailers that are recycling deals more than average are Office Depot and Office Max, Staples, Kohl's, JCPenney, Big Lots and BJ's.
If you plan on taking advantage of Black Friday deals, do your research and go prepared. Over 17% of items will be more expensive than they are listed on Amazon, so price check before you buy anything. Stay clear of jewelry and apparel, and focus on Video Games and home goods, as those categories have the best savings. Before you commit to spending your day shopping, think about the value of your time and your patience. If you can find a way to have fun while waiting in line to reach a crowded store, then you should certainly do it. For me, even armed with the information that Black Friday deals are powerful, this working mother will be spending the day with her feet up, enjoying the long weekend at home. The value in a day off is simply higher for me than the savings.