20 percent, 30 percent or even 50 percent: Black Friday later this week promises huge discounts – basically the highlight of Black Week. The advertising drum has been going on for days, via email, newspaper ads or social media advertising. But how credible are discount promises? Are there really such fabulous discounts?
The reality is sad – at least when you look at the past year. The comparator portal Idealo compared the prices of Black Friday products from November 2022 with the prices of the same products from October 2022. Consequently, the average saving was only around six percent. What should you look for on Black Friday? What tricks does trading use? E: How can you get a bargain? We’ll talk about it live on NDR Info on Wednesday, the live stream starts at 3pm.
Live NDR information Moderator Johannes Jolmes welcomes:
Tim-Oliver Tettinger, Lower Saxony Consumer Center
Prof. Arnd Zschiesche, brand specialist
Battle of discounts heralds the start of Christmas deals
From Singles Day on November 11th to Black Week and Cyber Monday on November 27th: With the battle of the discounts, retailers get in the mood for multi-name Christmas deals on Black Friday every year. With a lot of advertising, online retailers in particular offer supposed bargains – so-called promotions – at supposedly extremely low prices. But the offers are not always really attractive. If you want to benefit from these promotions, you must do your research beforehand.
Fake Offers: The RRP Trick
A common trick: the special price is compared to the manufacturer’s recommended retail price (RRP). However, almost no dealer charges the high RRP. Supposed 50% discounts turn into real savings of 10 or 20%.
Compare prices before Black Friday
If you want to buy an expensive product and are waiting for offers, compare prices in advance. The supposed bargain can only be correctly classified in relation to the usual market price. Internet price search engines provide a good overview. It is ideal to compare results from at least two search engines and also take shipping costs into consideration. Local retailers sometimes offer low prices as well.
Avoid impulse purchases through good planning
Heavily advertised products are a big temptation for bargain hunters. But do you really need the things offered? Making a list of necessary purchases helps with thoughtful consumption and can avoid impulse purchases that you will regret later. Attention: If you want to buy it because it is very cheap, you will fall into the haggling trap. Stiftung Warentest discovered that products that already sell well rarely drop in price. Discontinued or slow-moving models often end up on sale.
Think about possible alternatives and the environment
Can what you need be borrowed or rented instead of buying new? Or if it already exists, can it be repaired? It’s also cheaper and more sustainable to buy used goods rather than new.
Extremely cheap products are often so inferior that they have a short shelf life and, in the worst case, end up in the trash. This puts a strain on your wallet and the climate. Returns also cause unnecessary emissions. Furthermore, returning goods to third countries can be expensive. Sometimes the client himself has to bear the costs.
Offer deadlines put consumers under pressure
Many dealers try to pressure interested parties with short offer periods or expired deadlines. Consumer advocates warn against pressure to make hasty purchases. If necessary, you have the option to cancel the purchase or, for online purchases, use the 14-day right to cancel and return merchandise. However, shipping costs may apply.
Internet fraud: fake stores and fake offers
Fake stores also repeatedly use the shopping frenzy for their criminal businesses. If you find an extraordinarily cheap offer on the Internet markets, you should be particularly careful. Criminal traffickers prefer to receive money in advance or by credit card, but do not deliver the purchased goods. The safest way is to pay by invoice or direct debit.
Signs of a fake store include a fake test seal, a missing fingerprint, or missing terms and conditions. When in doubt, consumers should stay away from such offers, consumer advocates advise.
Tips for buying online
When shopping online, users’ browsing behavior also plays a role. Online retailers know your interests, searches and locations. This can result in certain items being prominently featured in stores while others are not. If you shop online, you should use your personal data sparingly and compare offers, advises the consumer advice center.
- Delete cookies regularly: This makes it difficult for store operators to create profiles. With the correct settings, cookies can also be automatically deleted when the browser window is closed.
- Become invisible: If you want to hide your own user profile, you must browse in incognito mode and hide your IP address. Browser add-ons can also help prevent data transmission to website operators.
- Buy when others don’t: If demand falls, the price also falls. If you buy what you need next spring, in the fall you will generally pay less. This applies mainly to clothing, but also to other seasonal items such as furniture, gardening and sports or travel equipment.
- Ignore the best deals and super bargains: Be careful with products advertised as exclusive bargains in online stores. Sometimes they are even more expensive than regular offers.
When is Black Friday traditionally?
Black Friday comes from the USA. The Christmas business traditionally starts there with the advertising campaign. It’s always the day after Thanksgiving, a holiday and important family celebration that falls on the fourth Thursday in November. However, many retailers start similar promotions in early November. As a counterattack to the consumer frenzy, “Buy Nothing Day” takes place in Europe on the Saturday after Black Friday. In the USA, the action day coincides with Black Friday.