Black Friday: Deals And Myths

ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) – The first Black Friday fanatics had already set up camp in front of a Fairview Heights Best Buy Friday night, but one national researcher says the folks in the tent, and anyone else who gets up before dawn for Black Friday shopping, are wasting their time.  

Mike Fridgen, CEO of Decide.com, says, “The bottom line, it is a myth.  Sleep in on Black Friday. Shop online from your couch in the comfort of your own home.”

Fridgen’s website worked with the Wall Street Journal to crunch numbers on various items for periods between two and six years.  Thye followed the prices year round, and they say in nine of the eleven most popular categories, Black Friday is anything but the cheapest day of the year.

“Are the doorbusters being advertised truly deals or marketing ploys?” Fridgen describes as their central question.  “And what we found is thirty percent of the advertised doorbuster deals from the most popular stores today’s circulars, thirty percent of those deals are not deals.”

He says some things, like laptop computers and small appliances, become less expensive as Christmas draws nearer.  Waiting is the way to go.  

Conversely, there are many items for which shoppers may already be running late.

“Hot toys,” he says.  “The most popular toys.  You’re gonna want to buy those before Black Friday.  You think about the Ferbie this year, the Leapster tablet, some of the most popular Legos like Ninjago.  Those items are going to sell out and increase in price as we approach the holiday.”

The popular women’s boots, Uggs, have also gotten more expensive as Black Friday draws near.  Fridgen says for the last two years, the boots, which you’ll find online right now for about $159, were in the neighborhood of $85 in September.  In other words, he says, the price jumps at a time of year when demand is soaring.  

There are some items the research found are a great deal on Black Friday.

“Video games or video consoles,” Fridgen says.  “This is a pattern we’ve seen over and over again.  One particular product that continues to have its lowest price during that period is the Xbox.  You’ll also find that this year with the Wii.”

Home fitness items also tend to be a good grab around Black Friday.

We ran some of this information past Rosanda Suggs Monday night.  She’s one of the occupants of that tent, already set up outside the Fairview Heights Best Buy store.  She believes the research is flawed.  

“They’re deals,” she says with conviction.  “I know so.  We’ve been doing this for more than ten years now.    We do this way in advance.  We plan this out.  Thoroughly.”

In Manchester, MO, Ann Pelt, out with her kids, also begged to differ with Decide.com.

“The things we’re going after I disagree with,” she said.  Asked what those are, she pointed at her kids and replied; “Christmas presents which I can’t say right now.”

But another shopper, Kathy Flowers, says she’s in on a secret.

“That’s true because the y raise the prices to make you think you’re getting a sale.  I know that.”    

Despite those who want to argue with him, Fridgen says he’s certain of one thing:  he’ll be more rested than them by week’s end.

“I will be sleeping in on Black Friday,” he says.

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