6 MIN READ

7 Black Friday Shoppers Tell Us What They Really Plan to Spend for Holidays

Michael, Collins drags a 65 inch TV to his mom's car after shopping for Black Friday deals at Best Buy on Thanksgiving on Nov. 22, 2018. S
Michael, Collins of Melbourne, Fla., drags a 65 inch TV to his mom's car on Thanksgiving day at Best Buy on Nov. 22, 2018. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Cyber Monday still hasn’t killed Black Friday… at least not yet. This holiday season, it was estimated that 34 million people would shop in person on Thanksgiving Day, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics. For Black Friday, that number was estimated at 116 million shoppers. And according to the survey, the average amount spent on holiday purchases will be a not-so-frugal $1,007.24. That’s 4.1% more than the average amount spent last year.

We decided to take our own kind of survey. It’s far from scientific, but we asked seven random shoppers why they gave up holiday time to search for deals in person. We also asked them about the best deal they found, and what their budgets are like this year. (We like budgets, after all.)

Here’s what they had to say.

1. Brittany Snyder shops at Target with her two children, Axel, 4, and Everleigh, 2, in Pinellas Park, Fla.

A mother shops at Target
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

We were in the house all day for Thanksgiving with family over, so today we needed to take a little break and come outside and do some shopping and leave the messy house behind for a little bit. This is also my excuse to not clean up so quickly. I come out here and see everything. I normally get something for [the kids]. And when I get home, I’ll do the rest online. I like to be done with Christmas shopping by Monday.

What is the best deal you found today?

Every year, I always buy them clothes here. Everything’s just really cheap, so I won’t get upset if they get candy all over it. Their shirts, long sleeves, are $3.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

It was $77 for, I think, five shirts, two [pairs of] jeans, toys, candy. I’ll take it. 

2. Luis Valdez with his 8-year-old daughter, Sofia Valdez, at Best Buy in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Luis Valdez and his daughter Sofia Valdez, 8, both of St. Petersburg, Fla., stand in line to purchase TVs at Best Buy on Thanksgiving day on Nov. 22, 2018.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I like to see what I’m getting. I don’t like to wait for things to come.

What is the best deal you found today?

The Samsung 65-inch TV for $599. It’s a good, quality TV for a good price.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

Under $1,000 for just two TVs and a phone.

3. Joanna Gregg, right, with her daughter Aydrian, 16, at Target in Pinellas Park, Fla.

A mother and daughter shop at Target
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I pretty much do all of my shopping here, other than a couple of items. All of my grocery shopping, everything, I can do at Target. I still like to touch everything and see everything in person. And I’d still rather give the stores the business than do a ton of online shopping. I want the stores to be here.

What is the best deal you found today?

Probably the iPhone deals with the gift card. They’re better than the actual carrier’s discounts. That’s what we’re here for. We’re waiting to get an iPhone 8 and a $150 gift card, zero down on the phone. The $150 gift card is worth being here for.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

I don’t really have a budget. Probably with reason, I’ll spend about $1,000. We’re probably at about half of that right now, which is good. 

4. Nitya Pendyala, 14, left, and her sister, Shari Pendyala, 8, with their father, Sri Pendyala, not pictured, at Best Buy in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Nitya Pendyala, 14, left, and her sister Shari Pendyala, 8, both of Pinellas Park, Fla., shop for movies on Thanksgiving day at Best Buy on on Nov. 22, 2018. S
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I guess we just wanted to go to the store. It’s interesting.

What is the best deal you found today?

The best deal I’ve found today are these movies: “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Panther” and “Coco.” They are $6.99.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

Not much. Under $500.

5. Lakeisha Carroll, left, shopping with her niece, Ceasia Moore, at Target in Pinellas Park, Fla.

Two women shop at Target
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I’m going to do both. Right now, we’re going to do little things. And on Cyber Monday, we’re going to do electronics. I went yesterday [on Thanksgiving Day], but it was kind of crowded. I thought today was going to be the better blockbuster, but yesterday was the better blockbuster.

What is the best deal you found today?

This Fisher Price [Smart Home] I got for $30 cheaper than I saw in the competing store. Also, this Honda Ride On [Electric Bike]. The Fisher Price is $99 here. It was $129.99 at the competing store. The Honda Ride On was $59. The original price was $69.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

Budget for toys: not over $500. Cyber Monday, I’ve got a little bit more of a budget.

6. James Granger at Best Buy in St. Petersburg, Fla.

James Granger of St. Petersburg, Fla., drags his new 65 inch TV to a register at Best Buy on Thanksgiving day on Nov. 22, 2018.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I’m out shopping in person because I was in the area, and I thought I could get a better deal.

What is the best deal you found today?

This TCL TV for $400. I’ve been eying all the Black Friday deals. It was a doorbuster for Walmart and Target, but for some reason, I found it here for the same price and they didn’t have it as a doorbuster.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

I plan to spend about $800. I’m buying a TV, a Samsung watch for my mom and a scooter thing for a kid — and it comes out to $800 altogether.

7. Jennifer Meyers with her son, Kaden, 3, at The International Plaza Mall in Tampa, Fla.

A little boy is carried by his mother in a mall
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

Well, we don’t have a mall where we live, because we live on a tiny little island. So we wanted to see crowds and all of the decorations and all of the excitement. We live on St. Simons Island. We do some [shopping] online and some in the stores, just figure out what we need and the best deals we can find.

What is the best deal you found today?

The Disney Store had a lot of different things — animals, costumes for the different movies that they like. We were able to get a themed present, which they like, [for] about $50 each, two kids about $100. Probably full price, we would have spent $100 [or] $150 per kid. So it was definitely worth the sales.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

Really, [I’m] just figuring out who I need what for and figuring out the best deals I can find. Stuff that they will like. [I don’t] really have a budget.

Sharon Steinmann (Instagram @sharonsteinmann) is the chief photographer at The Penny Hoarder. Chris Zuppa (Instagram @chris.zuppa) is the senior photographer. Both would rather photograph on Black Friday than shop.

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