Black Friday - a promotional strategy or genuine opportunity for shoppers?
Black Friday has taken on a life of its own since being imported from America as an opportunity for Christmas shoppers to cash in on great deals. Savvy shoppers are able to save themselves a pretty penny at what is, for many, the most expensive time of year.
Consumers are not the only winners, however, as there are PR opportunities aplenty for retailers looking to supplement their advertising spend. With "Black Friday deals" drawing enormous numbers of clicks across social media and internet searches, media outlets are falling over one another to produce stories with those magic words in the title. Those selling well-known products at an eye-catching price are likely to find themselves inundated with opportunities to promote them.
But are the deals as good as they seem? Not according to research from consumer watchdog Which?. They found "that 95% of the Black Friday deal items we investigated - which included popular tech, home and personal care products - were available for the same price or cheaper in the six months after." It is worth noting that Which? only tracked 83 products for their survey, however, so if you are planning on going on a spending spree this Black Friday, it pays to follow the watchdog's "Top five tips" (click the hyperlink above).
Another way to ensure you're finding the best deals is to use those media outlets so keen to promote Black Friday. Journalists have done the job of filtering out the bad deals for you and given readers their best picks. One of my favourites is "The (actually good) Black Friday deals live today" from Wired, who update the web page daily. They have also written an "expert guide to not buying stuff like an idiot this Black Friday", which is worth a read before you whip out your credit card like gunslinger from the Wild West. Holster those digits until you're good and ready and make sure the retailers are not the only winners this Black Friday.