The most common mistakes shoppers make on Black Friday -- and how to avoid them

Black Friday shopping should qualify as an Olympic sport.

It’s competitive, strategic, and takes a lot of energy.

But with the right planning and research, shopping on Black Friday doesn’t have to be scary.

More than 7 in 10 Americans plan to stock up on holiday gifts and merchandise over Thanksgiving weekend, according to the International Council of Shopping Centres.

Here are some mistakes to avoid during the busiest shopping day of the year.

1. Failing to make a list.

Shoppers who fail to know what they’re looking for during Black Friday are only hurting themselves.

“Determine which products you wish to buy, and identify the online and brick-and-mortar retailers that offer the product,” Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO of online marketplace platform Mirakl, told Business Insider

Figure out who you are shopping for, and do research on where you can find the items for the best deal.

Are you looking for electronics or clothes? Toys or home furnishings? It might even be smart to stick to one category and commit to it. The other stuff you can purchase online during Cyber Monday.

2. Paying full price for add-ons.

A common mistake when shopping for electronics is paying full price for add-ons. These includes batteries, cables, and chargers — stuff that will get the big item working.

But you don’t have to get add-ons the same day or at the same place. To maximise savings, strategize where you can buy each commodity for electronics at the best price. The quality will be the same, regardless of where you buy them.

Also, saving these items for Cyber Monday isn’t a bad idea either!

3. Buying toys.

While sales on toys are tempting to go for on Black Friday, toy sales often extend into the first two weeks of December.

“Toys in general are almost always cheaper in the first two weeks of December,” according to Dan de Grandpre, CEO of

No need to rush to find that exclusive Moschino Barbie doll!



4. Choosing the wrong time to go.

Is Thanksgiving the new Black Friday?

A majority of stores will be open on Thanksgiving, giving shoppers a chance to beat the Black Friday crowds.

In fact, 54% of shoppers said they would prefer to stay home on Thanksgiving, according to a survey by

If people are more likely to stay in on Thanksgiving, then why not get an early start and beat the crowd?

If you’re committed to deals, getting to the store earlier is better.

5. Opening store credit cards.

So you finally make it to the register and the cashier asks if you want to open a store credit card for an additional 10 to 15 % off your purchase.

Tempting, but — “signing up for store cards can leave you with a credit hangover that lasts well into the new year,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at

6. Not using a price-comparison app.

For those who plan on shopping in-store during Black Friday — 75% say they will use a smartphone or tablet to access online services for store locations, price comparisons, and coupons, according to a survey by

Using smartphone apps like RedLaser, ShopSavvy, and BuyVia will help you navigate the best prices online and in local retailers, as well as allow you to view product reviews and related items, deals, and discounts codes where applicable.

7. Falling for “fear of missing out.”

The belief that sales are short-lived or that items are in limited supply isn’t necessarily true.

Retailers have been preparing for this day weeks in advance and have ample supplies of what they expect to be top sellers.

Many of the doorbuster deals that appear in limited supply on Black Friday are not only cheaply priced but cheap quality as well. Don’t cave into the emotional pressure that might lead to a regrettable purchase. You can find better quality items through online discounts.

8. Forgetting about Cyber Monday

If Black Friday turns out to be a bust, don’t forget about Cyber Monday.

Shopping online makes it easier to compare prices and stock up your cart with items you might not have been able to find in-store.

It is predicted that Americans will spend more than ever on Cyber Monday this year, with sales up as much as 12% from last year to $US3 billion, according to Fortune.

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