Black Friday is nearly upon us – you know the day where unwitting shoppers are enticed and lured into department stores and online shops to spend an absolute fortune on items they simply don’t need believing they are getting a bargain? Yep, that day is just around the corner.
The Americans have exported some good things to the world throughout the years but Black Friday certainly isn’t one of them and in this article you will find out why.
The first big grudge we have with the popular ‘sales’ day is that there are no sales to be had – in fact it is common knowledge that retailers put their prices up around about now simply to lower them again on Black Friday to make it look like people are getting a bargain. A lot of the time the product will have been cheaper in the summer or in early autumn.
After doing a bit of research we have come to the conclusion that next week, the week beginning 17th October, is actually probably the worst time to start your Christmas shopping. Why? Because many retailers have bumped the prices up on selected items prior to the Black Friday event to make special offers on the day appear more lucrative and better value. Retailers need goods to be at a certain price for a certain length of time in order for people to believe the cost – and they will have started now. For instance, if a washing machine is advertised at £500 pound for over a month and then is reduced by £100 on Black Friday, quite a lot of people will believe that they are getting a good deal. And why wouldn’t they? The washing machine as far as they know is worth £500 and they are getting it for £400 in a sale.
But what a lot of people don’t see is that the very same washing machine may well have cost £400 in the summer or possibly even less. This means that retailers are cashing in, and what’s worse, are probably profiting massively on the ‘sales’ day at the expense of people who just want to get a good deal.
The buyer, you and me, in the best case scenario, is probably paying just as much as they would’ve paid originally. Put simply, Black Friday is a con. Consumers on the whole will pay more for certain goods than they would’ve done at different times of the year.
Don’t get us wrong, they will still be some fairly decent deals to be had but retailers will cash in wherever they can and it is getting worse year after year.
Many shoppers have also noticed another tactic that a lot of businesses use. In previous years some high street stores as well as online shops lowered the price of some goods but then increased the cost of other items by a considerable margin in order to further make money.
Common sense should prevail when it comes to the Black Friday madness. Always look at the price of things in the summer. Retailers at this time of year will start to push the prices of goods up with a view to ‘reducing’ them at the Black Friday event. If you know that it was cheaper in the summer than it was on Black Friday you’ll be unwilling to fall into their trap.
As well as the big ‘cost con’ there is also the ridiculous queues and crowd chaos trying to get hold of the items.
Last year we were shown images on TV of people trampling all over each other to get hold of televisions and other electrical items – in one instance people were actually seen fighting one another. Such was the madness, even the retailers were shocked which led to many big name businesses announcing they were not going to be part of the Black Friday event this year.
Names including Mothercare, Primark and John Lewis are just some of the retailers that won’t be participating.
Despite some well-known brands pulling out of the Black Friday madness, however, this year is still expected to break past records with regards to Black Friday fever.
Online retailers are expected to make the biggest gains.
Several surveys are showing and many experts are predicting that the last Friday in November is going to be the biggest yet in terms of customers splashing the cash, with online spending in the UK expected to reach the dizzy heights of £1bn in one day for the very first time.