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Posted on Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

Think you're getting the best deals on Black Friday? Maybe not

By Ben Freed

Waiting in the cold for hours on Black Friday or making sure you log on right at the beginning of “Cyber Monday” might a cultural tradition for some Americans, but it’s not always a guarantee to get the best deals of the holiday season, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

ABC Warehouse Black Friday 2.JPG

Shoppers line up at the entrance of ABC Warehouse on Black Friday in 2011

Nathan Bomey |

Using price data over the past two years from major retailer’s websites, the WSJ tracked prices daily and found that while American’s still cling to a belief that Black Friday deals are the best possible prices, the data prove otherwise. While retailers do put on major “sales” the day after Thanksgiving, many of the products are actually cheaper when purchased online during September and October. The price deflation during earlier fall months could be driven by a need to compete with online retail giants such as, who have been able to offer lower and lower prices with their growing inventories.

Ann Arbor stores have followed the national trend of opening earlier and offering more aggressive Black Friday sales. The Wall Street Journal’s data did not include in-store sales because there can be strong regional variance and special “blowout” sales on limited numbers of items that are available in-store only.

Prices for items such as a Citizen men’s watch, women’s Ugg boots, a Samsung 46-inch flat screen TV and even a plush Elmo toy were all higher on Black Friday than in previous months. The price of the Ugg boots jumped 59 percent from $85 to $135, which was still below the list price of $159.95.

Click here to read the full story.

Ben Freed covers business for Reach him at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Among purchasing professionals, several principles apply when making purchases. One of those is that buyers should avoid becoming psychologically conditioned by things like advertised sales (e.g., Black Friday Sales). So it's a relief to see that 63% of those responding seem to agree. Kudos to those with that much buying wisdom. My first rule is: start shopping early to avoid the crowds and the advertising pressure. Life has enough tensions, so give yourself enough time to think through and investigate major purchases. Giving yourself time to buy that special gift that will be appreciated and just shows how thoughtful you are. I know several people who are "holiday shopping" almost year 'round and they always impress me with the bargains they get because the recipients are delighted and the buyer generally takes time to get the best price for some really good stuff.


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

Door Buster deals at brick and mortar stores were EXCLUDED from the study.

Dog Guy

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

My vote is: I'm losing faith, but I still trust the Great Pumpkin to review my pumpkin patch fairly.