Black Friday - Savings or Scam

Author: Ashita Khandelwal
November 27, 2020

Who doesn’t like to treat themselves with the latest model of their favourite gadget? Especially when it is on a whooping 40% sale. Well, here ends the wait. Today is the biggest discount event of the year - Black Friday. It all started in the United States when Thanksgiving would kickstart the holiday season and shoppers would be out on the streets sometimes getting stuck in traffic jams, getting into road accidents or ending up in a fight over a discounted item on the day after Thanksgiving. The fourth friday of November has consistently been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since 2005.

But this shopping frenzy is no longer limited to the U.S. According to research agency Motivaction, this American holiday discount craze is being increasingly embraced by Dutch retailers and one in five Dutch people are now familiar with Black Friday. Dutch news channel, RTL states that in 2018 Black Friday spending reached €500m and it is only expected to rise. More and more tech stores like MediaMarkt and CoolBlue are advertising huge sales this year.

In light of the current pandemic situation, Dutch municipalities are not promoting this day as an in-store shopping event as compared to last year. However, the Black Friday craze is still on, now that shoppers have turned to online shopping as the stores have limited capacity and strict regulations. The coronavirus and consequent partial lockdown have caused an explosive growth in online spending this year. According to Adobe, online sales have gone up by 20% from last year. Many people prefer shopping on their phones and computers now as they are in self quarantine and fear catching corona.  

According to the NRC, around 60% of Dutch consumers will be buying something on Black Friday, but their average discounts in reality would be no more than 20%, which is nothing different as compared to any other time of the year. The real question is how a consumer can make good use of this discount event while not getting deceived by dodgy deals. Black Friday in reality is a mixup of really good lightning deals that show up once a year and other so-called discounts on high markups just the week before. While browsing the online websites today, you should be looking at the price itself rather than the discount. You can use sites like Tweakers or Pepper to observe the price trend and compare deals. Impulsive purchases should be avoided as much as possible. Evaluate your purchases and ask yourself if you actually need what you’re buying. This is an event which promotes hyper consumerism and we need to keep a cool head and a firm grip on the wallet.

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