Black Friday shopping philosophy: Use your head, not your heart
Patrick Center November 23, 2012 | WGVU
“According to the experts there are probably 210 million Americans out of 300 million, right, that’s how many we are? Two hundred and ten million are going to be shopping over these three days; Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. That’s amazing! And over the course of the Christmas season there are estimates that each one of these is going to spend about $750. So you multiply that out it’s an enormous amount of money. This is when a lot of businesses make it or break it. And frankly it’s when a lot of us get ourselves in so deep we don’t know when we’re going to get out of it. So, what you ought to do is set a budget. Make a plan and don’t be in too much of a hurry. Any good salesperson or sales organization is going to take advantage of the emotional side of the consumer. And what that means is through this special deal, this time limit, this ‘Boy, you look great in that’, whatever it is, they’re going to appeal to us in such a way that they want us to spend right now because the odds of them making the sale go down dramatically if you wait a day or two. And what we’re urging you to do on the consumer education side is to compare. I always believe in getting three quotes on anything I’m going to do. Whether it’s buying a product, whether it’s buying a service, getting something done to my house, buying a car, whatever it is, get three quotes and if you take the time to do that number one you’re going to learn a lot more about the product you’re buying. Number two you’re going to create a competitive pressure that might bring the price down, and number three you know you’re going to get a great deal by doing that. And you choose those three businesses wisely. You don’t just choose three willy nilly and by word of mouth and those kinds of things, you go for three well-known, well-reputed businesses that you’re going to do business with.”
Phil Catlett who’s President of the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan explains you use your head instead of your heart.
“Every time and we all make decisions with emotion and we all try to justify them later with rationalization and logic. And the key is just making sure that component is in there. That you have some logic.”
Should consumers use cash or credit this time of year?
“If you are not in any kind of financial difficulties, if you’re not of the psychology that you’re not going to spend more than you ought to spend, use credit cards every time. There are legal protections in there for you that you can’t lose over $50 on any one of these credit cards if it happens to be stolen, if somebody gets your credit card number, whatever it is, and you can later on challenge a charge and not have that pulled out of your account. So, if you have the opportunity, use a credit card. Now, on the other hand, if you have found yourself in the past to spend more money than you ought to spend, then you just need to use cash. Use that envelop, use a debit card that only pulls out what you’ve got in your account, but then you’ve got to set that budget firmly. Create the plan, make a list of what you’re going to get, got through those three bids on each item or three different stores on each item. Online is one of the greatest things about having the internet is that you don’t have to go store to store to store you can check all this stuff out online or in the ads and then pick where you’re going to go. And if you’re starting out at 10 o’clock on Thanksgiving night as some people are, build that plan because there’s going to be stuff going on all night long and you can build it out and build yourself a route where you’re going to go and why.”