How Many Black Friday Deals Are Really Deals?
Black Friday week this year was good to me travel wise. Expedia ran a 90% off promotion where I scored a room at the Bellagio on a Saturday night for $30! Of course there was also the $100 off $100 Orbitz Cyber Monday deal which was sweet!
When writing a postmortem about Black Friday, I made mention that I didn’t really do much shopping over the weekend. In fact, I rarely ever do because the truth is that the same or better deals can be found year round.
Now to be fair, I did purchase a laptop, but that purchase was out of necessity and I found an overall decent deal. The laptop I purchased wasn’t a doorbuster and I am fairly confident I could have found a similar caliber deal during a different time of year.
Less Than 1% Of Those Black Friday Deals Are Deals
Recently I came across a New York Times article that talks about a few of the so called “deals” found on Black Friday. Working with WireCutter, they analyzed 54,000 holiday deals and found that about 300 or around .5% were actually good. Ouch!
An example given was the Jawbone Up24. Kohl’s had it as a doorbuster on Black Friday for $100 with a regular price of $130. Unfortunately WireCutter found that both Amazon and Best Buy have sold it for as little as $80.
Another example cited is the 55″ Samsung 4k television sold by Best Buy on Black Friday for $899. While that price seems like a steal, that particular television suffers from extreme motion blur and very low quality picture. In other words, it ain’t even worth that much.
When A Regular Price Isn’t Regular
Macy’s, Kohl’s and other retailers use the “suggested price trick” to fool consumers. They often inflate the regular price of an item to make the discounts they offer look attractive. On Black Friday Macy’s sold the Breville Smart Toaster for $252 after discounts. That was marked down from $417! Wow what a deal!
Unfortunately as you may have already guessed, a number of retailers regularly sell that very toaster for $250. In other words, the Macy’s sale price was just a normal price. I’ll let you read the article to see how Macy’s explain the price discrepancy.
In the end finding good deals really requires a lot of research. Just like with anything, if you don’t want to put in the work then you aren’t going to save the most amount of money. People study coupons and end up walking out of the store with a lot of free items. I don’t and I end up paying for everything.
Today consumers have access to more information than every before, however most of the deals on Black Friday are still crap. This suggests that we are still humans and the excitement and the emotion of getting a Black Friday deal outweighs the need to actually get a Black Friday Deal.
What all this actually means in practice though still remains to be seen. I will continue to do the research on deals and share the best ones with your here. At least that way you have someone looking out for you!