The American export of a mad day of shopping after Thanksgiving, a.k.a. Black Friday, seems to have spread itself right across the globe; but is it possible that retailers are just using it to cash-in on consumers’ obsession to land ‘bargains’?
I once heard someone say “Everyone likes a bargain but nobody likes to be cheated”; but you can still lose out unless you do your homework properly. Did you know that buying an £150 coffeemaker you don’t need for £75 is not saving £75? You have just wasted £75! So if you are going on some Black Friday shopping, i’ll advise you to make a list, check it twice and stick to the list. Otherwise you might return home with lots of unneeded items and a new set of bills to pay – just as you’re getting into the festive season.
Have you ever wondered how retailers who advertise a £500 Smart TV for a Black Friday price of only £299 make any profit? Well i recently came across the term ‘derivatives’ in relation to retail. Lower-quality versions of popular products specifically made for Black Friday are known as derivatives. These inferior versions are typically made with cheaper materials and parts that enable retailers to offer them at such low prices.
Since retailer are so good in their marketing methods, you may be wondering how can you spot a derivative? One way is to take the model number and search for it online. If the results you get are Black Friday ads and you can’t find any reviews, chances are it’s a derivative. Mind you, the TV may be good in its own rights but there’s just no way to know and that’s the chance you have to take. If you’re focused just on price, this may be a ggood deal for you. If you’re looking for a set with good performance and reliability, you might be better off spending a bit more.
Not everyone of us wants to go out and battle the crowds at popular retailers to get our Black Friday shopping done. With the current technology, you don’t even need to leave your bed to get in on the Black Friday action but you still you need to be weary of online fraudsters. Try and do the following:
- Use well-established, trusted websites, which are much easier to find without havin to go there via search engines.
- Watch out for signs of flawed authenticity such as wording or formatting errors which are symptomatic of fake websites.
- Only shop on locations that are encrypted, demonstrated by the ‘https’ prefix in a retailer’s website and a padlock symbol in the browser.
- Keep an eye out for phishing emails. These usually appear to come from well-known brands and may ask for personal or financial information – something a retailer would never normally do.
The above are not just for Black Friday shopping. With the festive season upon us, you can use this knowledge as part of your arsenal. Happy hunting!Niyi Adeoshun
Money Management Coach
Author of "The Price of Financial Freedom"
(3 Essential Steps for Breaking the Cycle of Debt)