13 Ways Black Friday Retailers Trick You

Black Friday is the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Black Friday is the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season. Think: Doorbuster deals, overcrowded malls and staying glued to your laptop so you don’t miss out on online-only flash sales. The average shopper is expected to spend $1,048 on holiday purchases this year, according to the National Retail Federation, a slight bump up from $1,007 in 2018.

Retailers will pull out all the stops to get their cut. Remember when Black Friday sales were actually limited to the day after Thanksgiving? No more. Pre-Black Friday sales have already started, and many Black Friday doorbuster deals will start in earnest online as early as November 22, and in stores on Thanksgiving Day (November 28). Moving up the start dates of Black Friday promotions is one tactic employed by retailers to get shoppers to spend more. There are many others. Some are overt, some are subtle, but they are all aimed at boosting sales.

Understanding these proven retailing tactics will help you stay on budget and get the best deals this holiday season. Here’s a look at 13 common tricks stores use on and around Black Friday.

Andrea Browne Taylor
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com
Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and is a channel editor for Kiplinger.com covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C.