The holiday season brings together family, friends, home style foods, and a welcoming change to the New Year. After a hearty Thanksgiving feast many eager shoppers hit the local retail stores to reap the best discounts of the season. From tablets to tables, Black Friday brings millions of enraged consumers to storefronts in hopes of jump starting their holiday shopping. Many retail giants have already released their Black Friday catalogs to give consumers a sneak peak at this year’s doorbuster deals.
Among the plasma televisions and iPads, some retailers have marked down kayaks in hopes of clearing out the remaining stock of the 2013 season. A kayak for $149? You can’t beat that with a wooden stick… but wait, there must be something missing.
Of course, some Black Friday deals are best avoided… kayaks and canoes being one of them. The following suggestions give an idea of why you should leave your kayak shopping until after the holidays:
- Black Friday kayaks are inexpensive for a reason: Most kayaks we will see advertised this Black Friday are missing rear and front bulkheads. Kayaks lacking fore/aft bulkheads not only pose a safety hazard because they eliminate buoyancy but you lose dry storage capacity.
- Quality issues: Black Friday kayaks may be blemishes, factory seconds, or discontinued models
- You can’t try before you buy: The rush of Black Friday does not allow you the opportunity to try the kayak before you buy it. Sure, sitting in a kayak on a concrete floor is great if you’re planning on paddling in your living room. Being able to take the kayak for a demo is better since you’ll be able to see how it handles in real conditions.
- Expert advice: There is a great value in purchasing a kayak at a local specialty shop; the biggest being able to tap expertise and knowledge from staff. Big retailers are pinched for staff on Black Friday and may not be able to offer personal assistance or customer support for kayak purchases.
- Transportation: Some shoppers don’t consider how they are going to get the kayak home until after they buy it. Kayaks are not small, typically ranging from 10-14 feet in length. Unless you have experience safely loading kayaks on the roof of a car, its best to seek help from a store associate, which I’m assuming will be scarce during the mayday of Black Friday.
Black Friday can be a great opportunity to score major deals this holiday season but some deals should be left for after the holidays. If you are in the market for a kayak this holiday season, consider these drawbacks before you line-up in a parking lot at 2am… you may be losing out on what you’re “saving.”