Should shoppers seek out Black Friday sales promotions?

Do you like getting up very early, standing in line in the cold and dark in order to get a bargain on the day after Thanksgiving? If the answer is yes, then the Black Friday sales are probably for you. Are the sales worth it? Yes, if you’re dedicated to the hunt and stay focused. Some people love the thrill of buying that new in’ toy or the electric cheese grater for half-price at 7 AM. My neighbor makes a family outing with her sisters or a girls day’ of shopping. It all depends on your attitude.

For many retailers, Black Friday or the day after Thanksgiving means getting out of the red or deficit that they may have fallen into during the rest of the year. They go to extreme lengths to get your holiday money and are willing to make sacrifices on certain items in order to lure you into their store. Their hope is that you’ll also buy other items that are not on sale while you’re there. The bargain items are worth going after, but be careful of spending too much on the other stuff that may be marked up for that day or would be cheaper elsewhere.

More and more stores offer huge bargains on electronics, luggage, toys and seasonal clothing on Black Friday. The trick is that the quantities of these extraordinary bargains are limited and if you want to capture one, then you must be the “early bird”. Focus on these specials and you will save money. Don’t get carried away though, Grandma probably won’t want the skull t-shirt, even if it is 70 percent off. But then again, she just might, only you know that. If there are specific items that are super deals that you must have, then go for those the instant you enter the store, the earlier the better.

Often there are BOGO or buy-one-get-one-free offers. This works well if you shop with a friend and split the difference. One half-price gold lame’ lounge set might be a great bargain, but two – not so much. These offers are definitely worth it and shopping is always more fun with a friend and having someone to share the bounty with.

This is also a great time of year to replace your outdated TV, sound system or camera. The once-a-year prices on electronics make Black Friday an excellent time for these purchases. It’s also a great day for toys, luggage, small appliances and cookware. Keep this in mind and you’ll be rewarded with big savings. Think ahead and buy birthday gifts that you’ll need in the post-Christmas months. Chances are you’ll be happy to have them come February.

Pay cash if at all possible. You won’t save money if you’re paying high-interest credit card bills. Save ten dollars a week all year for your shopping spree and stick to the $520 amount, no matter what.

As in many things in life, your attitude will make the difference. Stay focused and try to relax. Black Friday sales are worth it if you’re willing to make the sacrifices of sleep and sanity.