When it comes to holiday shopping, Black Friday is viewed by most retailers and consumers as the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season.

Notwithstanding industry estimates that Black Friday 2013 could be one of the biggest retail blockbusters we’ve witnessed in several years, consumers are certainly growing wise to a number of indisputable Black Friday facts that retailers still wouldn’t admit to if their businesses depended on it.

So what are holiday shoppers starting to understand that the big retailers won’t tell us? Here are the 5 biggest unspoken truths about Black Friday.

1. The ‘sales’ aren’t so special

While there’s no shortage of “sales” touted from dawn until dusk on the day after Thanksgiving, the discounts are truly far less dazzling than the digital, print, and TV advertisements would have you believe. For as psychologically enticing as the big red sales tag can be, retailers are merely setting you up for where they want you to be – in their stores buying what you want and more than you need.

This is precisely why online shoppers tend to save more money while still getting everything on their shopping list. Retailers are earning their payday by selling you far more than that which was advertised for Black Friday.

2. You have to give something to get something

If you want the best deals available on Black Friday, you’re probably going to have to give something up for them in return. Usually, the consumer’s contribution comes in the form of their contact information – email address, phone number, social media info, etc.

In some cases, consumers are only given advertised discounts if they’ve agreed to join a rewards program or consent to receive promotional emails or text messages in the future. Although most programs of this nature aren’t a threat to consumer privacy, shoppers generally unwilling to fork over personal information may have to play along if they want to make the most of Black Friday this time around.

3. Your savings may not be instant

A large number of retailers are expected to offer handsome promotional rebates this year. So if you haven’t read the fine print, a Black Friday sale may not really be a sale after all on the big day. It will only become a sale 4 to 6 weeks later (or longer) when your rebate check arrives. If you’re shopping on a budget and need to watch every penny during November and December, it’s important to consider that your rebate may not turn up until well into January.

4. Supplies are seriously limited

At the end of the day, countless retailers large and small are prepared to offer generous blockbuster deals on Black Friday. Unfortunately, with big sales come big crowds. And supplies tend to go fast under these conditions. Although this may be frustrating to consumers, retailers still have shoppers in their stores to purchase something else when the hot item’s inventory is depleted.

5. Black Friday is every day

Don’t fool yourself. Many of the supreme discounts advertised for Black Friday are already available somewhere at this very moment. In the digital age, it remains most likely for the best deals on electronics, toys, video games, jewelry, and a wide variety of products to be found on the Web all year long.

Although Black Friday is an annual adrenalin rush like no other for discount seekers, bargain hunters, and your run-of-the-mill shopping junkies, the luster of the big day is ultimately far less enticing when you finally come to realize that every day is Black Friday in the era of online shopping.

Image courtesy of stockimages, David Castillo Dominici, Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net