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Black Friday is one of the biggest events of the year when it comes to sales. However, is it as good as we are made to believe it is? Today I’m going to break down some of the gimmicks that Black Friday sales use to mislead people into believing they are receiving the best possible deal.
According to Money Charity, the average credit card debt per household in the UK is £2,655. It’s not that surprising given that consumers in the U.K. spent £5.6 billion on Black Friday alone last year.
Here is what you need to know before you start your retail therapy on Black Friday.
Amazon Black Friday deals
We all have seen deals such as ‘77% off’, ‘53% claimed’ and having these deals ending in less than an hour. It looks like an amazing offer, doesn’t it?
If a deal looks too good to be true, it is likely too good to be true.
According to Which? , 9 in 10 items sold on Black Fridays could be found cheaper or for the same price earlier in the year prior to Black Friday. Don’t fall for the time limit, do your research before falling for this gimmick.
Time-limits give consumers a stronger sense of missing out because of the time constraint. If consumers are convinced they are going to miss out on a deal because of a time limit, they are more likely to pull out their virtual wallets and commit to the deal, regardless of whether they need it or not. Amazon’s Black Friday Lightning Deals is a classic example of the usage of this strategy.
The Kindle is a classic example of a product that was found for the same price as the Black Friday Deal. How do we know that? We looked at the historical price on PriceSpy
Find that interesting? Here is another example of a “Kindle - with Ads - Black” which proves the ‘was & now’ approach.
£49.99 looks like a good price, but it was equally good in April, May, July and November. The price was hiked up to £69.99, a day before the Black Friday sales began.
You can check the prices on camelcamelcamel.
Besides that, Amazon is notorious for including minuscule price reductions as a worthwhile deal. Even when an item has been reduced by a few pennies, it is identified as a deal. Below is an example of a Black Friday Deal that has been reduced by only 3p.
As far as Amazon is concerned, a deal is a deal, even if they have only knocked off 3p. Don’t fall for this
Don’t get me wrong, there are some great Black Friday Deals out there if you do the research. It is however the sad truth that consumers are often misled to believe that all Black Friday deals are great. To quote Reddit user, Snukkems “The point of the comic is that 100 bucks are a lot for them every other day of the year, but a hundred dollars for something functionally no different from a two hundred dollar thing is a good deal.” Them, in this case, refers to consumers.
Yours Clothing Sale
Some retailers are really funny, such as Yours Clothing who promise the biggest savings ever with up to 70% off.
NB: spending money is NOT saving money.
This email was sent out on November 24th 2020.
Up to 70% off everything? Don’t expect too much because in reality, you are closest to getting 5% off everything.
Be Your Own Super Sleuth
If you genuinely are looking to purchase something at a lower price this Black Friday, here’s a list of what you should do to outsmart these marketers looking to leech off your credulity.
Make A List
First thing’s first, note down what you ACTUALLY need to purchase. Not what you want to purchase, but what you need to purchase. You do not need a Gen 4 Echo Dot just because it’s on sale and brand-new, but you may need a new kettle if your old one has burnt out. Make your list of items, stick to your list of items.
Create a Black Friday Budget
Remember, it is important to recognise how much money you actually have, not what your credit card limit allows you. There is a difference between affording something and the false security of buying now and paying later. Calculate how much you can afford to spend, and stick to this budget.
Investigate Price History
You could manually do this yourself, or you could use specific websites to help you do this. This is to make sure you are getting the best deal possible, and are not scammed into believing Black Friday is the best time to buy your product of need. The three websites that can help you with this are as follows:
Do Your Own Price Comparisons
Brands are notorious for labelling any price reduction as a promotional price. This includes reductions of mere pennies as the example given earlier in the article. When you come across your item of choice, try to do a comparison against other retailers in order to work out the true value of your product and make an informed decision.
In such times of uncertainty, it is especially important to be rational with our expenses. You may be bored, frustrated and tired of the lockdown, and therefore spending money may seem to be the only thing that can help perk up your day. Now you know everything you need to look out for in order to avoid falling into basic sales tactics and most importantly, the hype of Black Friday!
If you want to know how much you can afford to spend on Black Friday, try out the Cash Coach app. It will be your personal AI coach, who does the maths for you! Sit back, relax and attain financial freedom.