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Indiana Consumer Expert Weighs In on Black Friday Deals

Black Friday is a fun holiday tradition for some Hoosiers. Credit: Beth Rankin/Flickr
Black Friday is a fun holiday tradition for some Hoosiers. Credit: Beth Rankin/Flickr
November 23, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Advertisements promote steep discounts on Black Friday, but are the early hours and crowds worth the hype? It depends. According to new research from financial website WalletHub, 68 percent of items will have a major discount on Black Friday. But time is money, says Purdue University consumer expert Richard Feinberg, professor of retail management. He encourages shoppers to research items on the web before waiting in long lines.

"You have to decide whether or not the $25 you save by going to company X is worth getting in the car and going there or ordering it online and waiting for it," said Feinberg. "For most of us, it may not be worth it."

The survey found 17 percent of Black Friday items advertised as discounted actually cost more than what they currently sell for on shopping website

Jill Gonzales, spokesperson with WalletHub, explains that books, movies and music will be the most discounted on Black Friday, followed by toys. But she cautions that not every item advertised will be in stock, which could lead to impulse purchases.

"To lure customers in, a lot of stores now are having these big-ticket items at very steep discounts in very limited quantities, and once they get customers in, that's when group think kind of washes over the crowd where you get things that you probably didn't have on your list," says Gonzales.

While tirelessly researching the best prices may seem like a big headache, Feinberg says Black Friday actually is a fun holiday tradition for some families.

"They like the hunting and gathering, they like searching for the best deal," he says. "It's a bonding experience between mother and daughter and father and son, and they go out and they talk and they get a bite to eat, and it's a fun activity."

He notes the best deals actually are found after the holiday season, when stores are ready to clear their shelves.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN