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Is Black Friday shopping really worth it? Follow these tips and it will be

Black Friday is on! Many people are gearing up to save big on their holiday shopping list items. But if you woke up asking yourself, “Should I shop on Black Friday?” you should know that according to Finder’s Black Friday Statistics 2022, 41% of Americans say that while Black Friday offers good deals, it’s not always worth the hassle.

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So, what motivates people to shop on the day that marks the start of the holiday shopping season? “Fear of loss is a big motivator during Black Friday,” said consumer expert and psychologist Dr. Mindy Weinstein, founder of Market MindShift. “Remind yourself that the feeling of FOMO is short-lived. To overcome FOMO, ask yourself these questions: Are you making the purchase because the product is selling out or hard to get? Is it only because it appears to be a really good deal? These questions will help you determine the real motivation behind your purchase.”

If you plan to shop the Black Friday sales, here are some expert tips to actually make it worth it.

Don’t Wait Until Black Friday To Shop

“The season has stretched out to encompass much more than just a single day, so there’s no need to wait until the ‘day of’ to shop anymore,” said consumer analyst Julie Ramhold with DealNews. “And if you do wait, you may find yourself missing out on deals that have sold out and won’t be able to be restocked for Black Friday. There are plenty of early deals rolling out now, so take some time to check out your favorite retailers and see if you can take advantage of these deals now before the rush starts.”

Don’t Expect Price-Matching or Adjustments

“Most retailers will suspend price-matching and price-adjustment policies during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so it’s best to not count on those if you’re looking to save extra cash,” said Ramhold. “If you’re counting on these kinds of discounts, you’ll just be setting yourself up for disappointment.”

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Don’t Expect Every Deal To Be Awesome

“Black Friday is known for being an excellent time to shop for almost anything, but that doesn’t mean the deals are all worth your hard-earned cash,” said Ramhold. “Don’t assume they’re great just because they’re labeled as Black Friday deals, and definitely be sure to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best price where you do shop.”

Do Your Research Before a Sale

“We tend to fear that we will miss an exceptional deal on Black Friday, because of the way retailers position the sale items,” said Dr. Weinstein. “Many times, by simply doing research ahead of time to determine the normal price of the product and the price cuts that have occurred previously, you can quickly identify if a product is truly a great deal or not.”

Don’t Buy Into Off-Brand Black Friday Models

“Some of the lowest prices we see around Black Friday may be on off-brand items or models created specifically for the holiday,” Ramhold said. “But while the prices may be low, the quality may also not measure up, which means you may end up with buyer’s remorse down the road. Instead, stick with brands — even trusted ones that might not be top tier, such as Insignia or Vizio — rather than risking a purchase on some no-name electronics that may fail before the year is up.”

Be Familiar With Holiday Price Guarantees

“These are an excellent way to ensure you get the very best price by shopping early,” said Ramhold. “For example, Target’s holiday price guarantee says that if you buy something and then it drops in price at Target on or before December 24, you can get a price adjustment. Knowing that should make you more confident in shopping early deals as they likely won’t drop in price again before the season is up, but if they do, you should be covered.”

Examine Return Policies

“Some stores are extending their return policies for the holiday season, so it’s good to know how long you have to return something if you need to,” Ramhold said. “In some cases, this may be the way to get a better price — if you can’t get a price match or price adjustment somewhere you may be able to return the first item you bought and purchase the second at the lower price. However I would caution you to not make a habit of this, as stores will notice and may change their policies if they think people are abusing them.”

Use a Strategy That Makes Black Friday Discounts Go Further

Finally, taking advantage of Black Friday sale prices isn’t the only way to save money.

“Be sure to stack on any additional savings by using a rewards credit card while you shop to score cash back, points or miles,” said Rebecca Gramuglia, consumer expert at TopCashback.com. “Depending on your credit card program, the accrued rewards can be used towards a statement credit to help pay off your holiday shopping bill.”

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Is Black Friday Shopping Really Worth It? Follow These Tips and It Will Be

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