JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Black Friday is a few days away and if you're like me you're excited, right?
Steve Siebiold in his book "How Rich People Think" said the problem with Black Friday is most of us fail to recognize a big trap: overspending.
Keeping that in mind, here are my top ten Black Friday traps to avoid so you can have fun.
Overspending. Make a list and check it twice. Write down who you need to buy for, what you want to get them, also how much you plan to spend for each person. This way, you're not crying when the holiday bills come in.
Don't make price assumptions. Just because it is Black Friday does not mean that every single item in the store is as cheap as it can possibly be. Do your research. Pricegrabber.com is a good place to begin.
Avoid toys: Black Friday is not the best time to buy toys for the holidays. Yes, many will be discounted, but two weeks before Christmas is when you will get the most discounts on toys, so be patient.
This is a tough one but most experts say to wait when it comes to jewelry and watches. You will find a better deal around Valentine's Day. Of course you know your needs and your budget, but you have been advised.
Black Friday is an excellent time to invest in HDTV but the experts say your best deals are the off brands, and the best time to buy name brand HDTVs will be January-February when the new models hit store shelves.
Online or Offline? Choose Wisely.
The rule used to be Black Friday at the stores, Cyber Monday online. The rules are out the door. Be flexible, check back and forth. Remember, you are looking for the best deal for your wallet.
Watch out for the "I can return it trap." Don't assume anything. The store policy may have changed over the holiday. Many retailers now have shorter return deadlines and restocking. Also, many retailers now keep a database of individuals who return stuff too often. If you get onto an "abuse" list, prepare to be turned down.
We all like the fact that many retailers are now price matching, but read the fine print: Black Friday sales might be excluded and certain products may not be eligible for a price match. Find out the terms before you buy.
Watch out for what consumer experts call the Apple trap. What do I mean? Many of us will head to the Apple store for discounts and that's rare. Other retailers, however, will offer discounts to get you into their store, and that's where you might find a bargain.
The door buster trap. Dealnews.com said before you run out the door, know that door busters are very limited in supply. So unless you want to stand in line or camp out early, you probably won't get the deal. A price check beforehand may help you determine if it is even worth the effort.
First Coast News