Every year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is treated like the Superbowl by every brick and mortar retailer along with every eCommerce website on the internet. It’s an unholy day of shopping and sales that can bring out the very worst in human beings. People start camping out just outside of the Best Buy doors days before Black Friday begins and once they are in the store it’s every person for themselves.
People have been trampled, punched, and straight up mowed down by hordes of people all looking for that ultimate sale on their favorite piece of tech or clothes. It is madness in the form of consumerism and I’m here to explain to you that most of it, if not all of it, is marketing.
Here’s the first secret that you need to know, Black Friday deals aren’t even always the best deals of the year. Yeah, let that sink in for a moment. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are really good at generating urgency in shopping it is mostly fake. It just seems more intense and seems like you’ll never get deals this good because of the copy surrounding the sales and the fact that everyone is doing them all at once. Most of the time the major sales are really only done by a few companies, usually the big ones, like Best Buy and Target, and the rest of the companies, like have sales that although good, aren’t that special.
For example, if you are looking to buy a new television, Black Friday seems like the perfect day… however, there is a lot of research into consumer data in the last few years that actually shows that TV’s are on even bigger sales right before the Superbowl and during Memorial Day weekend. I bet you never would have thought that was true, but it is, and has been proven. The reason why this might be a mind-blowing fact is because of marketing and the number of advertising dollars that went into making you believe that these were blow-out sales.
Another major thing to consider is that most stores, especially brick and mortars that are struggling to keep up with online stores usually have some sort of price adjustment policy that if you go and purchase something there before Black Friday, and that item goes on sale a few days later, they will actually go in and adjust the price for you later. Doesn’t that seem like a much better way to shop? You buy your item when the shelves are stocked and there is nobody in the store… you try everything on and make sure it fits… pay full price. Then come back in during Black Friday or a day later and have the price instantly adjusted to Black Friday deals. Now this isn’t necessarily available at every store, so I would suggest doing some research, but I think you’ll be surprised how many retailers follow this process.
Finally, a lot of Black Friday is positioned specifically to help you purchase gifts for your family, so the items that are discounted most are those that you could easily purchase as a gift. Keep that in mind as you are looking at sales for things that are generally not given as gifts because those things are discounted less and you could probably get a better deal down the road at any given holiday after.
Despite how benevolent you think these stores are that they are giving you such reduced prices for everything, remember they’re not. Black Friday is a huge bankroll day for every single company, no matter how big the sales are. Every company wants to get in on this day because everyone is already in a buying mood, and who knows, while you’re shopping around for a brand new laptop you might even land on a new WiFi Hotspot courtesy of Skyroam that just wanted to cash in on all the new laptop sales. Nothing wrong with that, it’s business, not a hand out.
Keep your wits about you during major shopping holidays, the discounts might not be as amazing as they may seem.