The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 17, 2012

Urgency to buy can be costly

By Joanne Arbogast
The Daily Item

SUNBURY — Do you suffer from Black Friday Tunnel Vision?

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday just days away, the holiday shopping season is gearing up, and so is the potential to get ripped off.

Avoiding being manipulated into buying impulsively and consider just staying home, reports Scambook.com, because the prices probably won’t be the lowest of the season.

“There’s a phenomenon that’s been dubbed Black Friday Tunnel Vision,” Scambook says. “That’s when you’re so worried about missing out on a great deal, you don’t stop to question whether it’s real. Scammers and legitimate businesses alike take advantage of this mindset. They use a common sales tactic, saying ‘act now or miss out,’ ‘it’s the last one in stock’ and other statements to create a false sense of urgency.

Instead, “sleep in after Thanksgiving and shop stress-free with your family, without the pressure to buy, buy, buy.”

Regardless of when you start your holiday shopping, here are some guidelines worth considering:

Make a list and stick to it. Decide in advance what you want to buy and then do your research in finding the best place to make your purchases. Avoid impulse purchases — if it’s not on your list, don’t buy it.

Determine what you need and how much you can afford to spend. One of the best ways to do this is buy only with cash.

Get the Thanksgiving Day newspaper. It will give you tons of information about Black Friday store hours and what deals are being offered when. Also do your research online — www.BFAds.net and www.BlackFriday.fm are two good places to start. As December rolls on, keep checking your newspaper for ads alerting you to more upcoming sales events and shopping deals.

Save your receipts. Many stores are price matching online competitors (Wal-Mart, Amazon, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us, to name a few). If later you find a better price, you can return the item and save some money. In addition, if you find you’ve bought gifts than you needed, you can always take them back as long as you have your receipts.