Before you shop this holiday season, make sure you’re getting the best deals possible. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on advertising tricks that claim to give you the best value. Here are a few tips on what to look out for during this year’s Black Friday sales.

Deceptive Sale Prices

It’s best to never really believe a retailer’s word when they show the original price compared to the shiny new sale price. That “original price” may not be the true original price of that item. Many stores increase base prices before the holidays so that their sales appear better. For a more honest look, compare sale prices at separate stores, or look up MSRP prices on your phone or an app if you’re in the store. A lot of stores feature perpetual sales where you’ll be able to get the same discount on items throughout the year.


Generally, a doorbuster is a limited-quantity deal that is meant to get you into the store in the earliest hours of the morning. Unless you really need that year’s doorbuster, it may be best to sleep in. While these can be great deals, the competition for being the first in line can mean camping out–which really isn’t saving you time. You can also check a store’s flyer or website to see if there are any “In-Stock Guarantees” for certain items.

Buy One, Get One

BOGO sales have been around a long time because consumers love to see the word “free.” While some Buy One, Get One sales can be worth it, you should always ask yourself “Do I need two of this item?” It’s an especially important question when the sale is a Buy One, Get One 50% Off offer. If you never intended to get two of that item and they rope you into buying a second one, is that really a deal? Don’t forget that it’s a common tactic to inflate the cost of the first item, to cover the “free” or “50% off” counterpart.

Lesser Versions

Black Friday sales frequently offer a lower quality product than they normally sell. Whether it’s a television, laptop, or other electronics, always be sure to check what features are offered and compare those to other products to make sure you’re not getting a downgraded model. If you don’t need those additional features or accessories, it may be a smart purchase for you, just be sure to spend the extra time looking into what you’re actually getting.

Remember these tips and you’ll be on your way to a successful holiday shopping experience!