Black Friday blues

Shoppers line up in sub freezing temperatures as they wait for the Kohl's department store to open at 5 a.m. in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file) Shoppers line up in sub freezing temperatures as they wait for the Kohl's department store to open at 5 a.m. in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)

I have to admit I didn’t know Black Friday existed until I got married. I didn’t even know retail stores were open during the Thanksgiving holidays.

Reared in the Deep South, where football is something of a religion, the only thing I knew existed over those sacred days were lots of food, lots of football and lots of talking about food and football.

Oh, but these days, I am a sophisticated man of matrimony, married to a woman who doesn’t care for, gasp, football. So, as dutiful husbands do, I set the alarm clock last year for 3 a.m. and gritted my teeth to fight the masses for the so-called good deals.

Good luck getting me back. I’ve marked Black Friday off my bucket list, and, according to a report by investor site MillionaireCorner.com, I’m not alone, at least for this year.

As the report reads: “Even early-bird specials and other deals aren’t enough to lure the vast majority of investors into stores on Black Friday this year. Three out of four, or 75 percent of investors, plan to skip going shopping on Black Friday.”

The report indicates that “the wealthier the investor, the less likely they are to shop on Black Friday: 69 percent of investors with less than $100,000 in net worth are avoiding Black Friday shopping while 83 percent of those with $1 million or more in net worth are staying home.”

From my own experience of sweating through elbows of rabid shoppers, I found a list of ten tips from www.scambook.com to help me rest easy in front of the couch this Friday, where I’ll be surrounded by food and football and talking about food and football.

Scambook’s tips on what consumers need to know to avoid scams and headaches

  1. Black Friday, more like Freaky Friday, creates unnecessary pressure that leaves consumers to buy compulsively. Scammers are notorious for deceiving consumers about the hot deals of the day!
  2. Forget about the misleading advertisements about finding the best deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, remember the best bargains are throughout the entire holiday season.
  3. Looking for seasonal items that have a short shelf-life? Always keep in mind that prices decrease drastically a few days before the holidays, but there will be less variety in stock.
  4. Completely abolish any chances of fraudulent charges while protecting your bank account by using a prepaid debit card.
  5. The saying “practice makes perfect” applies to holiday shopping! Research makes remarkable savings and the larger the purchase, the better the deal you’ll get.
  6. Terms and Conditions can be perplexing so make sure to familiarize yourself in case of fraudulent charges. It never hurts to be prepared.
  7. With high stress rates, misleading ads don’t add to the equation! Remember to read all Black Friday ads very carefully as many retail chains set their return/exchange date for Black Friday weekend.
  8. Hoarding never sounded better. This holiday season save all your receipts for any potential financial disputes.
  9. Holiday months are the perfect time to start utilizing your online/mobile banking applications when there’s the highest level of fraudulent activity. Be persistent on checking your account, even after the following months.
  10. Report any fraud as soon as you spot it. The sooner you report, the sooner you can get your money back and the scammer can be stopped!

For more from Daniel Williams, see:

Boomer and senior markets look to safer portfolios

14 things I learned at NAILBA 31

Selling annuities in a volatile market, part 1

About the Author
Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams, Editor-in-Chief of the new Retirement Advisor magazine (formerly Senior Market Advisor) and Annuities Channel Editor for LifeHealthPro.com, is an award-winning journalist and business editor with extensive experience in print, online and trade shows. Prior to joining Senior Market Advisor, Daniel was editor of Real Estate Southern California magazine and West Coast South Bureau Chief of GlobeSt.com, both are divisions of Real Estate Media. Previously, he covered the commercial real estate beat for the Orange County Business Journal. While there, he received a certificate of merit from SABEW (the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Inc.) for a story on "OCs Cash Economy." A native of the Deep South, Daniel relocated from Los Angeles to Denver with his wife and daughter and can be reached at dwilliams@SummitProNets.com or on Twitter @LHPro_Annuities.

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