What the Heck Is ‘Spring Black Friday’?

How to Avoid Panic Buying on Black Friday

If you’re among those people who get up before the sun rises just to save a few bucks on a TV the morning after binging on mashed potatoes and gravy, listen up: Lowe’s and Home Depot are having a special spring Black Friday sale, giving you the chance to get all the mulch and wheelbarrows your heart desires.

These sales last longer than a day (Lowe’s goes through April 11; Home Depot’s ends April 18), so you won’t need a tent to camp out this time, although you may pick one up while shopping.

Why Is This a Thing?

Retailers really like the idea of having promotions tied to Black Friday deals. The term causes consumers’ internal “big savings alert!” alarm to go off, so it’s an easy campaign for brands to run. If winter weather took its toll on decks, yards, or fences, these companies will likely see an additional boost in sales for things needed for repairs. Plus, many shoppers are looking for big-ticket summer items, such as grills and patio furniture.

How to Make the Most of It Without Breaking the Bank

If you’re escaping cabin fever brought on by the latest Nor’easter (or your city’s equivalent), these deals may sound appealing. Just make sure they’re in your budget, discounted or not. Making large purchases, especially on your credit card, can cause you to rack up unwanted debt if you’re not careful. (And maxing out your credit cards for the perfect outdoor furniture set can also ding your credit score. You can see how your credit card balances are impacting your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)

If there is something you want to purchase at a sale, it’s still a good idea to shop around, even online. Just because big letters in bright colors are saying there’s a sale doesn’t mean you should hand over your money right away. Read the fine print — are there restrictions or limitations on returns? — and make sure what you’re buying really is a good deal (and something you actually need).

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