10 Black Friday Scams We Forget About in the Sale Rush
For shoppers everywhere, Black Friday is practically a national holiday. This is the day when retailers offer deal after deal to get ready for the Christmas season, with people even camping outside of stores to get ready for the savings. It's a fun "holiday" and a good deal is a good deal, but you need to be careful — there are plenty of Black Friday scams out there that can get the best of you if you're not careful.
We at Bright Side love holidays, shopping, and helping you, so we’re sharing a list of scams to be wary of if you’re going out on Thanksgiving night.
1. Be careful with Black Friday deals in emails and texts.
When you get emails or texts that boast about upcoming Black Friday deals, make sure that it’s legitimate. There are plenty of people online who make fake promotions and phishing scams to get people’s private information, even claiming to be from legitimate websites. Be especially cautious if the claim is coming from a third-party website. Always contact a store to make sure the promotions are real before you make a purchase.
2. Beware of unusually high sales or discounts.
Some places might gradually inflate their prices in the time leading up to Black Friday so that they can offer a larger discount on a product being priced more than it’s really worth. Always collect pricing information ahead of time to get a good idea of what an item is really worth and find where you can actually get the best deal.
3. Stores might suspend price-matching policies.
Know a store’s price-matching system and return policy ahead of time before making any purchases. Even if you know their regular practices, a store might still temporarily suspend certain leniencies during the holiday season from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
4. Always read the fine print.
This is good advice for when you have to sign a contract as well as when you go shopping. Even when you get a legitimate Black Friday coupon, make sure to read any exclusions mentioned in the fine print before you get to the counter. You might only realize you didn’t actually get a discount until you read your receipt at home.
5. Be careful when it comes to freebies.
Most of the time, there’s no such thing as a free lunch and Black Friday’s no exception. If people offer you free things or even a discount in exchange for your signature or contact information, whether it’s online or in-person, you might be signing up for email spam or allowing them to send your private information to an identity theft scam.
6. Products might not be good quality.
Some products are specifically manufactured for Black Friday promotions, so they might actually be of lower quality than what you’d otherwise get all year round, such as missing key items. In other words, you might end up buying something you’ll have to trash or replace in a few months.
7. Things might be cheaper during other times of the year.
Make sure that the Black Friday deal is actually when a specific product is at its lowest cost. For example, it’s actually cheaper to buy luggage in the spring since there will be deals ahead of people taking summer vacations, and fragrances usually get the best deals around Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Some items might even get the best deals in December...exercise items might be cheaper before the New Year with people making weight loss resolutions.
8. Even gift cards can be fraudulent.
There are ways for scammers to collect information on gift cards off the rack, such as scratching off and replacing the decals which they can use once they have been activated. It’s usually safer to get gift cards directly at the register or to purchase them online.
9. Avoid the early sales.
Some places might offer deals during the days leading up to Black Friday but it’s sometimes better to be patient. The deals might actually be better on Black Friday itself. Even if the prices aren’t lowered, the worst-case scenario is usually that the deal is the same as advertised.
10. Some stores have tricky hours.
If you’re going to a specific store for Black Friday, then it’s important to know the store hours. Some places might also issue a window of time to be eligible for certain deals or products, meaning you might have to already be in line by a certain time. Also, check to make sure if the store is giving out wristbands or tickets for certain promotions.
What are some other Black Friday scams you’ve heard of? Please share them with us in the comments and have a happy holiday season!
Preview photo credit runeet / Reddit