Is Black Friday A Scam? We Investigate

Updated: December 4, 2020

Black Friday is probably the most hyped shopping day of the year. This year is expected to break records left and right. According to, Americans are expected to drop $87 billion this year between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A whopping 86% of Americans are planning to shop on one of those days.

More and more though people are wondering, how good are the sales on that day, really? And is it really the best day of the year to shop?

Is Black Friday the best day of the year to shop for deals?

According to experts, yes there are great deals to be had on Black Friday, but, no, it’s not actually the best day of the year to shop for deals, that honor goes to Thanksgiving. Per Lindsay Sakraida, the director of content marketing for Dealnews who spoke to CNBC: “Technically, as a single day, Thanksgiving is better than Black Friday.”

Now, you are probably wondering to yourself, Thanksgiving? Shouldn’t that be a day for turkey and family? Per Sakraida, more and more retailers are rolling out sales early to compete with each other. She suggests looking for deals as much as a week before Thanksgiving. And she points to Cyber Monday as another great sale day (and one you can participate in from the comfort of your couch).

How retailers try to “get” shoppers on Black Friday

Per The Motley Fool, the real “scam” of Black Friday is the way that retailers use deals to lure shoppers into their stores in order to inspire them to spend.

Per the website: “The goal of a typical Black Friday retailer is to attract customers by offering a few key products at a so-called discount. Then, once those ‘deals’ run out, the retailers have still got you in their hooks because you’re already in their stores or on their sites, at which point you’re more likely to buy something else — even if it’s not on sale.”

It’s a key point to keep in mind as you head out to shop: If you aren’t able to score what you had planned to, don’t fall into the trap retailers want you to fall into, which is buying something else.

What should you buy on Black Friday and what shouldn’t you?

Per RetailMeNot, all categories are not created equal on Black Friday, either, some things are better to shop, and some things are best left on the shelf.

Electronics, appliances, gear, and sneakers made the cut for what you should scoop up on Black Friday. Furniture, the latest gaming consoles, and toys, meanwhile are best left on the shelf, according to their analysis.

Feature Image: Twenty20