Maybe it’s because my Twitter account is overloaded with personal finance bloggers, but it seems like everyone is focused on Black Friday. About a dozen years ago, I loved Black Friday, not so much anymore. Those days you didn’t have to wait in line overnight. If you showed up an hour early, you might miss out on the $499 desktop, but you’d get the items in the $100-$200 price range as well as a lesser item like a pack of 50 CD-Rs for free after rebate.
Over the last 5-7 years Black Friday has become crazy. There are people having Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving (it’s not even Friday). Kmart this year is having three separate sales. With different products going on sale at different times, the long lines, and opportunity cost of people’s time, I wonder if that many people benefit.
I say skip Black Friday. Hit up Cyber Monday from your couch before work if possible. Look at the deals that no one is talking about… the gift card freebies.
You’ve seen the gift card freebies right? At Taco Bell they’ll give a free menu item for a $20 gift card purchase. That’s around a 20% value if you get the right menu item. Retailers are competing amongst themselves to get your holiday budget. If you use a retailer on a regular basis get the gift card and collect the freebie. Make sure you use are going to use that gift card rather than let it sit in a drawer. If that’s the case, spending a little now will save you a lot more than you’d get in interest in the future. This isn’t going to help you save $10 on $100 Roku like a Black Friday deal, but you can make the money elsewhere with no hassle.
Bonus tip: If it is a restaurant that has the gift card freebie use a restaurant credit card to get the bonus when buying the card. Double bonuses is double the fun, right?