Going shopping on Black Friday and in the few weeks prior to the last Friday of November can be considered a global tradition – or rather craze. The problem is that we, unknowingly, spend more money due to Black Friday shopping deals than we would have at any other time of the year. Moreover, we are actually buying inferior quality products sometimes. Let me tell you what Black Friday is actually about.
Black Friday deals usually start two or even three weeks ahead of the proper day, and if you monitor prices for items on various shops, you will notice that they don’t really change much during the entire month of November. Now mind you, I’m mostly going to refer to online shopping, because the mysterious ways of Black Friday deal searching in malls is not my specialty. Online shopping isn’t, either, but I can’t help doing a lot of that anyway. Over the last 5 years, I’ve always shopped on Black Friday and was always searching for the best deals weeks ahead of time. I’ve accumulated a good deal of disappointment and a few pleasant surprises in that time. Let me tell you about them in a clamshell.
One thing I’ve found when Black Friday shopping ahead of the date is that products’ prices don’t really change on the actual day. I’ve been eyeing a Nikon D3300 for a few months now and I thought it would be a neat personal experiment to monitor its price until Black Friday. I regret not snapping screenshots, but at the time I didn’t realize what I would stumble upon. So I searched for Nikon D3300 deals and found that I could get my hands on a simple bundle with a few accessories, an extra battery and a bag for about $450 in various different shops. If you do a quick search, you’ll notice that you can find the same camera as part of various Black Friday deals – costing $500 without any accessories. The kit that I found is no longer available, but a similar one with an extra lens costs $700. What a great Black Friday deal!
If I had ordered the camera in September, when I was first checking it out, I would have been much happier than ordering it now. The same tendency to not actually change any prices but count on customers not having the time or the means to research their purchases is evident with almost all retail shops. While this is a prominent issue when online shopping, it might not be when in store. Online, it’s actually a bummer to notice that these massive Black Friday sales everywhere are in fact ripping you off. Let me give you another example.
I found a pretty neat Canon compact camera, pretty entry-level and basic, which I thought would be a nice addition to my travel pack. I had a camera fever to satisfy, so I checked its price in September and in October as well, and both times it was around $50. I thought to myself that I would wait for Black Friday sales to go live and buy it at a lower price to save myself some money. Checking back on Black Friday I discovered that the camera I had picked was actually slightly more expensive at $60. What a great Black Friday deal, right? I might have more, though.
Last Black Friday, I bought an LG HDTV, 31-inch large, almost no bezels, a sweet investment I don’t regret. I got it for a good price at $210 and didn’t see anything wrong with it, until I wanted to mount it on the wall. I found that the small hinges that were needed for a mount were used and missing, the retail shop from where I bought it explaining that it was a refurbished device from their aisles. When asked why they didn’t mention it in the Black Friday listing, I was treated to a cold shoulder and looked at like I didn’t appreciate all the good things that “new” TV was giving me. Although I haven’t had other problems with the TV and don’t regret buying it, the incident revealed to me, once and for all, that Black Friday is a scam. It’s a way to swindle people out of their money, by giving them “huge discounts”. They’re not discounts, most of the time you are going to pay the same price you would have a month or two prior to Black Friday.