I always shop online black friday, I have for years, I save my big ticket electronic items or other common sale types and wait until midnight Thanksgiving when I hop online and buy my carefully researched and price matched selections. Those 15 minutes have saved me hundreds most years.
Not this year.
My husband’s laptop has been terminally ill with a dying harddrive for months so I knew I would be looking for one but I also had a half dozen other items I was pricing to purchase, should they be good deals.
So I did what I always do, sometime in October I started looking at prices, brands, selection, etc. I placed over a dozen items in my Amazon cart and clicked “save for later”. I do this so I can easily compare the prices day by day. I repeated the process with my walmart and target carts and checked a few office store sites as well.
Then I noticed a trend.
In years past the prices either stayed the same or crept down in the weeks surrounding black friday but this year in the month before almost every item in my cart went up. They increased sometimes by as much as $50.
I compared the pre-increase prices to the “black friday deal price” and in almost every instance the “deal” was the same or only 5-10% less than the “list” price had been in October.
I of course didn’t buy any of it, I won’t be tricked by advertising but judging by the swarms of people shopping and flooding websites alot of people were.
I know some people who go black friday shopping just because they think its fun (seriously?) but most do it for the “deals” and with the exception of a handful of “doorbusters” at each store the deals were…not deals. They were illusions created by jacking the prices up in anticipation of the “sale” then slashing them so you can hang shiny signs 30% Off!, 40% Off!, Buy Me Now!
The prices are always increased in anticipation of these sales but this is the first year that I noticed so many items where the “deal” was still equal to the original sticker price, usually the tactic is used to make it seem you are getting a bigger deal than you are but this year it was often used to make it seem like you were getting a deal at all.
I know this will fall on deaf ears but in case you really do strive to live the frugal life like me I implore you to make any purchase decision an informed one, check prices and not just the day or week you want it, check it for a few weeks, be weary of advertising and the faux “demand” created by pushy, buy me now, “deals won’t last” sales.