Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

A woman shopping in a department store.

Image source: Getty Images

Don’t go shopping on Black Friday without reading this first. 


Key points

  • Black Friday deals are available from many retailers, but not all of the “deals” are really bargains.
  • Be sure to do a little research before making any purchases.
  • Check product features and prices, and ask yourself if you really need to buy a certain item just because it’s on sale. 

Many major retailers have begun to announce Black Friday deals, including Costco and others. Some of the bargains seem great, so you may be ready to reach for your credit cards and start purchasing products.

But before you jump into buying, there are a few key steps you’ll definitely want to take in order to make sure your purchase is really worth spending your hard-earned cash on.

1. Compare prices

Checking prices is one of the first and most important things to do to make sure a Black Friday bargain is worth adding to your cart. 

You should compare the price of the item you’re looking at with several different retailers. Almost every shop offers Black Friday discounts and it’s worth checking their flyers or websites to see if multiple places have the same thing on sale. By comparison-shopping with other holiday bargains, you can get rock-bottom pricing.

You can also compare the cost of the item outside of Black Friday sales to make sure you’re really saving money on it. Don’t assume that just because a manufacturer advertises something as “on sale” that you’re always going to save a lot on it. Take the time to check the normal price and assess the level of savings on your own before you break out the credit cards

2. Check product features carefully

Another big thing to watch on Black Friday is what specific item models you are purchasing and what the features and specifications of those items are. 

See, some retailers make scaled down or derivative versions of their products that can be sold on Black Friday at a lower price point. A deeply discounted TV, for example, might not have the same high resolution or quality speakers as the one that’s sold at close to full price during the rest of the year.

By taking a look at the fine print, you can make sure you aren’t overpaying for a scaled down item that’s not worth the money in the end. 

3. Ask yourself if the item is really necessary 

Finally, before you buy any Black Friday items, you should take the time to ask yourself if the item is really something you need and will use — and if it fits within your budget.

Just because an item is on sale does not make it a good deal or justify spending money on it. If it isn’t something you will really value, you’ll be wasting cash on it no matter how cheap it is.

Ideally, you will buy items on Black Friday that you would have purchased anyway at full price — but you’ll just take advantage of the opportunity to get them at a discount so you can keep more money in your pocket. By being smart about whether the item is one that’s actually worth your cash, you can avoid wasting money on purchases you wouldn’t have normally bought if you weren’t enticed by the bargain price. 

Following these three tips can help you make the most of Black Friday — without wasting hard-earned money just to take advantage of sales designed to separate you from your cash. 

Alert: highest cash back card we’ve seen now has 0% intro APR until 2024

If you’re using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our expert loves this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR until 2024, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee. 

In fact, this card is so good that our expert even uses it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes. 

Read our free review

About the Author

Featured Articles