20 percent, 30 percent or even up to 50 percent: Black Friday later this week promises huge discounts, basically the highlight of Black Week. The advertising drum has been beating for days, through email, newspaper ads or advertising on social networks. But how credible are the promises of discounts? Are there really such fabulous discounts?
The reality is sad, at least if you analyze last year. The comparison portal Idealo compared the prices of Black Friday products in November 2022 with the prices of the same products in October 2022. Consequently, the average savings was just six percent. What should you pay attention to on Black Friday? What tricks does the trade use? And: How to get a bargain? We’ll talk about this live on NDR Info on Wednesday, the live stream starts at 3 p.m.
Live NDR information Moderator Johannes Jolmes welcomes:
Tim-Oliver Tettinger, Lower Saxony Consumer Center
Prof. Arnd Zschiesche, trademark expert
The battle of discounts heralds the start of the Christmas business
From Singles’ Day on November 11 to Black Week and Cyber Monday on November 27: With the battle of discounts, retailers prepare every year for Christmas deals under different names around Black Friday . Online retailers in particular heavily advertise so-called bargains, so-called deals, at supposedly extremely low prices. But the offers are not always really attractive. If you want to benefit from these promotions, you should do your research beforehand.
Fake offers: The trick with the PVP
A common trick: the special price is compared to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (RRP). However, almost no distributor charges such a high RRP. The supposed 50 percent discounts turn into a real savings of 10 or 20 percent.
Compare prices before Black Friday
If you want to buy an expensive product and are waiting for offers, you should compare prices in advance. The supposed bargain can only be correctly classified in relation to the usual market price. Price search engines on the Internet offer a good overview. It is optimal to compare the results of at least two search engines and also take shipping costs into account. Local retailers sometimes offer low prices as well.
Avoid impulse purchases through good planning
Highly advertised products are a great temptation for bargain hunters. But do you really need the things on offer? Making a list of necessary purchases helps with thoughtful consumption and can avoid impulsive purchases that you will later regret. Attention: if you want to buy because it is very cheap, you will fall into the trap of bargains. Stiftung Warentest has found 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 you borrow or rent what you need instead of buying it new? Or if it already exists, can it be repaired? It is also cheaper and more sustainable to buy used goods rather than new.
Extremely cheap products are often so inferior that they have a short lifespan and, in the worst case, end up in the trash. This puts a burden on your pocketbook and on the climate. Returns also cause unnecessary emissions. Furthermore, returning goods to non-EU countries can be expensive. Sometimes the client has to bear the costs.
Offer deadlines put pressure on consumers
Many traders try to pressure bidders with short offer periods or expiration times. Consumer advocates warn against pressure to make rash purchases. If necessary, you have the option to cancel the purchase or, for online purchases, make use of the right of withdrawal and return of the merchandise for 14 days. 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 unusually cheap offer on Internet markets, you should be especially careful. Criminal traffickers prefer to collect 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, missing imprint, or missing terms and conditions. When in doubt, consumers should stay away from these types of offers, consumer advocates advise.
Tips for shopping online
When purchasing online, users’ browsing behavior also influences. Online retailers know your interests, research, and locations. This can lead to certain items being prominently placed in stores, while others are not. If you buy online, you should use your personal data sparingly and compare offers, advises the consumer advice center.
- Delete cookies periodically: This makes it difficult for store operators to create profiles. With the correct settings, cookies can also be automatically deleted when you close the browser window.
- become invisible: If you want to hide your own user profile, you need to browse in incognito mode and hide your IP address. Browser add-ons can also help prevent the transmission of data to website operators.
- Buy when others don’t buy: If demand falls, the price also falls. If you buy what you need next spring in the fall, you usually pay less. This applies primarily to clothing, but also to other seasonal items, such as furniture, gardening and sports or travel equipment.
- Ignore the best offers and super bargains: Be careful with products that are advertised as exclusive bargains in online stores. Sometimes they are even more expensive than the usual offers.
When is Black Friday traditionally?
Black Friday comes from the United States. The Christmas business traditionally begins 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 countermovement to the consumer frenzy, “Buy Nothing Day” is celebrated in Europe on the Saturday after Black Friday. In the United States, the day of action coincides with Black Friday.