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3 Stores to Avoid This Coming Black Friday

Author: Michael Williams

Black Friday has become as much of an American tradition as the day that precedes it, Thanksgiving. While some may call this a sad statement on the country's values and priorities, the fact of the matter is Black Friday, and the madness it engenders, is not going away anytime soon. Even with the emergence of Cyber Monday, the online counterpart to the brick-and-mortar-based Black Friday, thousands of Americans still rise from the Thanksgiving table, clean off their turkey plates, don their winter coats and then join the mob of people waiting in the parking lot for their favorite retailer to unlock the doors.

Some people truly enjoy this insanity, while others begrudgingly tolerate it only because they believe the deals are too good to pass up. Regardless of which camp you belong to, you can make the most out of your Black Friday experience by avoiding the following stores.

Walmart

There is Black Friday madness, and then there is the kind of Black Friday madness that only Walmart can breed. Not a Black Friday has passed in nearly a decade without news stories reporting stampedes and even violence at Walmart locations across the country as shoppers fight to get one of the 20 discounted iPhones the store is offering. People have been hospitalized as a result of trying to save a little money on an XBox to put under the tree.

While bargain shopping is a great thing, few deals are worth enduring such stress levels, not to mention the risk of bodily harm. Furthermore, the deals Walmart puts forth may not be worth even getting out of bed earlier than usual. The store is notorious for trotting out an irresistible discount to draw crowds but offering only a tiny fraction of the quantity needed to satiate the demand. As a result, unrest brews among the mob of shoppers, none of whom want to go home empty-handed.

Moreover, Walmart advertises killer deals for Black Friday, but the store keeps many of these products deeply discounted right through to Christmas. Granted, at no point during the holiday season is Walmart not a madhouse, but it is not worth dealing with the store on Black Friday when the same deal, or close to it, can be gotten in mid-December.

Jewelry Stores

Shiny accoutrements are popular Christmas gifts; jewelry retailers know it, and they use this knowledge to extract a lot of money from customers in November and December. These retailers advertise big Black Friday discounts; the problem is, most of their products get marked up so much during this time of year that these ostensible discounts are not really discounts at all. Chances are, the prices are still more than you would pay in June or July.

If you plan to purchase jewelry for someone on your Christmas list, it is better to do it during the summer when demand is much lower. Remember the demand curve from Econ 101; lower demand amid constant supply yields a better price. If Black Friday rolls around and you still have not purchased that diamond bracelet for your significant other, you can find a much better deal online on Cyber Monday versus at the mall on Black Friday.

Toy Stores

Entire movies have been made that chronicle the lengths to which parents go to procure a popular toy for their child on Christmas. It is no surprise, then, that toy store parking lots are among the most frenzied when doors open on Black Friday.

However, the people dragging themselves out of bed to fight the Black Friday toy store crowds often pay more for toys than those who wait until closer to Christmas. This is because toy stores are notorious for ordering too much inventory around the Christmas season. The closer the holiday comes, the further toy stores slash prices to move products off shelves.

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