Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2012 are almost here, which means the holiday shopping season is in full swing! In today’s Scambook TV video, Kevan delivers more helpful tips to protect you and your loved ones from being ripped off. He reiterates our advice to stay home on Black Friday because the prices aren’t the lowest of the season. Then, he goes into greater detail about the phenomenon we’ve dubbed Black Friday Tunnel Vision. That’s when you’re so worried about missing out on a great deal, you don’t stop to question whether it’s real. Scammers and legitimate businesses alike take advantage of this mindset. They use a common sales tactic, saying “Act Now or Miss Out,” “it’s the last one in stock,” and other statements to create a false sense of urgency. If you only take away one tip from Scambook’s Black Friday coverage, Kevan wants you to be aware of this mindset. Don’t let companies manipulate you into buying impulsively. Sleep in after Thanksgiving and shop stress-free with your family, without the pressure to buy, buy, buy.
It’s not just Black Friday hype. It’s not just the Christmas retail season. It’s human nature. We hate to feel like we’re missing out on something, and both honest salespeople and con artists use this trait to their advantage. If we think there’s a scarcity or a time-limit on an incredible bargain, we want to snatch it up before it’s too late.
Sometimes, this mindset results in a harmless impulse buy, like a second bag of Doritos at Target because they’re having a 2 for 1 sale. But sometimes, this mindset makes you prey to an unscrupulous company selling big-ticket electronics under false pretenses. You might buy a laptop, a big screen TV or another expensive item because of your Black Friday Tunnel Vision. When you get home, you might find that the product isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and maybe you can’t afford it. Worse, you might not be able to return the item without paying a steep restocking fee.
We also fall victim to fraud schemes because of this characteristic. When we’re blinded in the pursuit of holiday bargains, secret shopper jobs or $1000 Best Buy gift card texts, we might not realize these things are too good to be true. We act rashly, before we take the time to do any research or weigh the pros and cons.
Be aware of this mindset and be patient when you shop. Caution is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from being ripped off. We always recommend reading the fine print before you buy something online, but shopping at brick-and-mortar stores really isn’t any different. Know what you’re buying, how much it costs when it isn’t on sale, and how the store will react if you get home and regret your purchase. No deal, however “incredible,” is worth the hassle of being ripped off.
Did you ever have buyer’s remorse after an “Act Now or Miss Out” sale? Tell us about it in the comments!