Don't Be a Victim of Black Friday Shopping Frenzy

Want to survive the madness of Black Friday? It's time to get prepared.

During Black Friday, retailers are hoping for hoards of people to rush into stores with their minds off and wallets open. But here at Slickdeals, we all know not to let the hype and excitement cloud our judgement.

For those looking to brave the crowds on the craziest shopping day of the year, here are some common mistakes to avoid so that you can have a successful and value-packed Black Friday shopping experience.

1.) Don't Use Cash, Checks or Debit Cards to Make Purchases

If you have the discipline to pay off your monthly balances on time — and not overspend, of course — it's better to make your Black Friday purchases with a credit card since many of the popular ones come with additional benefits, like purchase protection and/or price protection.

We've seen Black Friday items get an even bigger discount in December, just outside of a store's standard return policy, and a credit card's price protection perk can cover the difference, even if the store won't offer a price adjustment or accept your return/exchange.

Purchase protection gives you peace of mind by offering a safeguard against theft or damage of your hard-fought deal item — it's much easier for a thief to break into a car or house than a retail store with heightened security, so it's best to be prepared.

Read More: How Does Price Protection Work?

2.) Don't Go Browsing the Aisles

It feels like the entire store is on sale during Black Friday events, so do your homework. Study the available Black Friday ad scans before the big day to hone in on the best of the best deals.

Walking into the store with the intention of browsing will undoubtedly leave you overwhelmed and empty-handed as all the hot items fly off the shelves while you were perusing a different area of the store.

To help you make a winning play, we've got ad scans from all of the top stores in our Black Friday hub, complete with curated items from our savvy community.

Visit the Slickdeals Black Friday Hub

3.) Don't Buy on Impulse

The goal of most retailers during Black Friday is to get you into the store, and then bombard your emotions and your FOMO (fear or missing out) with "limited time deals," hoping you buy first and think later (or not at all).

Don't fall for this age-old tactic! Equip yourself with the Slickdeals mobile app and perform a quick price history search before you make a purchase.

Go ahead and put what you want in your shopping cart, then pull over into a quiet corner and use the Slickdeals app to verify that each purchase is a good one — if it's something worth buying, it has probably appeared on Slickdeals before.

Get the Slickdeals Mobile App

4.) Now Is Not the Time for Loyalty

We all have our favorite retailers, but with so many stores offering similar products and pricing, the biggest difference is often the bonus store credit offered with select purchases.

For example, you may have a Target REDcard, but the same purchase might net you $60 in Kohl's cash. With both Target and Kohl's offering largely the same products, are you better off shopping at Kohl's this one time for the bonus $60 in store credit?

Leave your loyalties and allegiances at home during Black Friday as you hunt for the best bottom-line.

5.) Don't Be Fooled by the Low Price

Black Friday doorbuster deals are designed to blow your mind based on the price alone, but oftentimes, these products are derivative models that are produced only for the holiday season and lack many features. How else do you think they get the price so low?

Be sure to research the exact model number on things like 4K TVs and other electronics to ensure whatever product you're looking at has all the features you need. You can also see what the Slickdeals community has to say about any doorbuster deals on our Black Friday hub.


Keep an eye out for Black Friday news on our blog, where we will be reviewing some of the most popular ad scans for 2018. You can also download the Slickdeals app on iPhone or Android to get push notifications when your favorite stores release their Black Friday ads.

Slickdeals Black Friday Hub

Do you know of other Black Friday shopping pitfalls to avoid? Let us know in the comments section below.


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About the Author
Andrew Chen Staff

Andrew Chen is a longtime PC gamer, an automotive journalist and an avid deal hunter. His first PC had an 80 megahertz processor with 4 megabytes of RAM, light years away from the powerhouse gaming rigs he builds today. You can follow Andrew's high-speed sports car adventures over at As a Slickdealer for over 10 years, nothing makes him more excited than getting a freebie!

Chat with Andrew on Twitter: @slickdealsdrew


This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2007
L3: Novice
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How about showing up late?

How about bait and switch? The store ran out of item X, but they have plenty of item Z that's not quite as good and the price is not as good. (I guess part of impulse buying)
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This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2017
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All these tips are great! Especially the one about looking into an item's value- if someone sees a pair of steeply discounted headphones that look good, they should always check reviews for the exact item on Amazon and/or other sites because those headphones might be awful and not worth any amount of money.

Something I've learned from my experience with Thanksgiving and Black Friday is this: decide how much time you want to spend on this shopping thing. For my husband and me, saving money on a bunch of fun luxury items is a big part of the holiday, so we're fine with spending hours on driving from store to store, looking for our chosen treasures, standing in line to buy, etc. Not everyone enjoys the experience. If someone knows they'll only want to visit a store or two, they should study the Black-Friday ads and prioritize. OTOH, if someone wants to visit a bunch of stores, they should go right ahead and jump in without letting anyone make them feel greedy or like they're wasting time. I'd tell anybody, "This is YOUR Black Friday. Do it your way."
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