CONSUMER REPORTS POLL: 56 PERCENT OF AMERICANS PLAN TO SKIP BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING THIS YEAR
Seven in ten say "Too Many Crowds" is Biggest Reason They Won't Shop; CR's Expert Black Friday Shopping Tips
Black Friday will just be an ordinary day for the 56 percent of Americans who plan to do no shopping at all this weekend, according to a Consumer Reports poll. Conversely, 44 percent intend to do some shopping, up significantly from the 30 percent who said they shopped for gifts during last year's Black Friday weekend.
Among the top reasons Americans gave for wanting no part of shopping during Black Friday weekend were:
- Too many crowds (70 percent)
- The deals are too overhyped (34 percent)
- I'd rather do something else (33 percent)
- I don't want to get up early (30 percent)
- I'd rather spend time with my family (29 percent)
- The deals are not usually very appealing to me (23 percent)
- I'm waiting to shop until after Black Friday (17 percent)
- I'd rather shop online (13 percent)
- Stores might run out of specific products I want to buy (10 percent)
Of those who do intend to shop this weekend, 69 percent will be venturing out to stores, while 58 percent will do so online, and 29 percent will shop both in-stores and online. Among the top reasons people gave for why they'll be shopping on Black Friday weekend were:
- Black Friday specials are the best deals of the year (55 percent)
- The door-buster deals (43 percent)
- It's tradition (23 percent)
- I enjoy the energy of the holiday shopping season (19 percent)
- I want to get items before they go out of stock (19 percent)
- It's the best time to get holiday shopping done (15 percent)
- I want to get my holiday shopping done all at once (12 percent)
- I want to take advantage of the time off work to shop (11 percent)
- I enjoy the shopping competition (10 percent)
"Those who intend to go out on shopping on Black Friday probably know what to expect, and to them that's part of the allure," said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. "However, it's easy to get caught up in the shopping frenzy and spend more than you really want to. That's why it's important to do your homework beforehand, have a plan and stick to it."
Additional results of the Consumer Reports Poll are available at ConsumerReports.org .
Of those who shopped during last year's Black Friday weekend, 67 percent got the deals they wanted. Twenty-five percent weren't successful but said they found other good deals. Consumer Reports has the following advice for Black Friday shoppers for a stress-free, enjoyable shopping outing:
- Be prepared. This means studying the ads before Black Friday. By now, many of the major retailers have released their Black Friday in-store specials, so check one of the comprehensive Black Friday-focused websites such as bfads.net, blackfriday.info, theblackfriday.com, and gottadeal.com to see whether you're getting the best deal. Some sites let you filter your searches by product categories, such as TVs.
- Shop online first. Why leave the family and your comfy couch if you don't really have to? Before you brave the crowds at the stores, check to see if the retailer is offering the same-or even better-deals on its website. In past years, some of the biggest retailers have offered online sales during Black Friday week that have included many of the same items offered as part of their in-store Black Friday events and often combined with low- or no-cost shipping deals. And some retailers will offer online exclusives you couldn't get even by walking into one of their retail locations.
- Get appy. Before you head out to the store, make sure your smart phone is charged and loaded with a few key comparison-shopping apps (such as ShopSavvy, ShopKick, and RedLaser) that will let you see special deals and compare prices while you're in the store. Many include a bar-code scanner that lets you scan and compare prices, plus a QR-code reader that can sometimes get you coupon codes or special deals.
Additional Black Friday shopping tips can be found online at ConsumerReports.org.
Consumer Reports Poll Methodology
The Consumer Reports National Research Center designed a survey to explore general sentiment and shopping behaviors for the upcoming 2013 winter holiday season. In November 2013, GfK Custom Research administered the survey online to a nationally representative sample of over 1,500 randomly selected adult U.S. residents. The data were statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey were demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent points at the 95 percent confidence level. Fifty-five percent of the sample was female, and the median age was 45 years old.
Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.