4 Black Friday Myths Debunked

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Black Friday has grown from the day to kick off the holiday shopping season to a bizzaro holiday of its own, with people celebrating by cutting Thanksgiving dinner short to camp outside of a big box store to clamor for deep discounts that are gone by sunrise. During this evolution, Black Friday has also taken on its own mythology.

The folks at DealNews.com have busted 15 such myths, including these gems:

If You Go Overboard on Black Friday, You Can Return Your Purchases
“Stores tighten their return policies considerably during the holidays, making it harder to return items,” writes DealNews. If you’re going to research the Black Friday deals before you go, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with stores’ return/exchange/refund policies. If the store will only offer store credit for a return, ask yourself if that’s a store that you — or the gift’s recipient — would shop at anyway.

Completing a Black Friday Order Online Forms a Binding Contract
We see this enough during the regular year to know that online stores occasionally screw up and oversell an item. So when you increase the number of people all ordering a discounted item with a limited inventory, and you’re going to see even more goofs.

The big problem comes, like Best Buy experienced last year, when the retailer refuses to acknowledge there is no inventory and waits until weeks later to alert the customers that a product has not shipped.

So if you haven’t received your order within the expected time frame, you need to decide whether to cancel the online order and hope you can find it in a store, or just tell the recipient that their gift could not arrived until after the holidays.

Sales on Designer and Luxury Goods Abound on Black Friday
We’ve been trying to tell people this for years. The most-desired brands are not usually the ones with the deep discounts, and when there are sales on attractive brand names, the inventory is often incredibly small. Confirms DealNews: “Although there are certainly exceptions to the rule, Black Friday is mainly a blockbuster event for lower-end goods.”

Leaked Black Friday Ads Are Totally Accurate
These will begin “leaking” out (read: E-mail blasted from the stores’ PR hacks to every reporter and blogger in the country) soon, but the prices and details on these ads are as much about teasing consumers as they are about testing the waters to see what the competitors are doing. “Stores will alter their sales as they learn what competitors plan on doing,” says DealNews. “Moreover, the fine print isn’t always present, which is crucial information if your heart is set on a doorbuster deal that will actually be available in extremely limited quantities.”

So don’t print out that leaked circular from the store and assume it’s gospel. Prices and items could change, along with fine print about availability and return policies. Before you pick a store to camp out at, arm yourself with the final version of the circular.