black friday is officially only next Friday, but the bargain fest has now lasted a whole week. The online sales will even be extended to next week with Cyber Monday. But how do you know if you’re really scoring a deal, or just getting ripped off?
In America is black friday the day after Thanksgiving, a day when many people have a day off. So plenty of time to shop, and retailers are trying to attract customers with huge discounts.
In the Netherlands we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and therefore we don’t have any free time, but the phenomenon is still there black friday known to us for several years. Timing probably plays a big role. In America, the shopping day is the starting signal for Christmas shopping, and in the Netherlands we have a holiday that is even closer with Sinterklaas.
Many people postpone their purchases until black friday, to strike at a good deal. The discounts seem to fly around your ears, but you also have to be careful. Not every bargain is really a good deal, no matter how much the store wants to convince you of it.
Strict rules have been drawn up around offers. A store cannot simply put down a price and scratch it through, but the product must actually have been on sale for the ‘from-price’ in the past three months. If it concerns a manufacturer’s suggested retail price, this must be clearly stated.
The Authority for Consumers & Markets can hand out hefty fines for this, but shops still regularly make mistakes. Earlier this year, the Consumers’ Association found sixteen large retail chains that not by the rules last year there were 39. This concerns, for example, ‘offers’ that were much cheaper before, or where the price has been this low for months. There are also examples where a product is first increased in price, so that the offer appears even sharper.
How do you recognize such a fake deal yourself? The most important thing is not to press the buy button immediately when you see an attractive offer. There is almost never any rush, the offer also remains if you take the time to check the price.
It is best to compare the price with other stores, especially at times like black friday, with everyone throwing offers. Maybe there is a better deal somewhere, or it turns out not to be a price reduction at all. On websites like Tweakers all stores are listed at gadgets, what knibble and Fussy also do with other types of products.
Tweakers means being price watch a handy chart for each product. In it you can see when that TV, smartphone or soundbar that you have in mind has been discounted before. Perhaps the current offer is not as competitive as you thought, and it is better to wait a little longer.
If you don’t feel like checking every time whether your desired product is already on sale, you can also set a price alert at Tweakers. Search for your product in the Pricewatch and click on ‘track price’. You can now set the price from which you are interested, and you will receive an email when the offer is sharp enough.
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