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Sack Black Friday

Alan Smith
© kotoffei | Adobe Stock

If you think Black Friday offers good deals, you may be right. But good deals for who is a very different question.

Black Friday is a colloquial name for the Friday following Thanksgiving in the US, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of America's Xmas Shopping bonanza since 1952, and subsequently exported Globally, although the term "Black Friday" did not become widely used until more recent times.

Why Black?

Well, it describes the traffic, bad vibes and overall hysteria of punters looking for good deals. Fighting over them in the store aisles and spending in a wild panic driven frenzy by our ancient hunting instincts (or so it appears). Literally billions of Pounds/Dollars/Yen are spent, making it one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.

Retailers (on and offline) have got in on the act by promoting deals and encouraging us to part with our hard-earned, on amazing deals on anything our heart's desire (or advertising convinces us we need). I’m not sure my dog actually does need a Prada dog carrier for £1,500, thank you.

But are these ‘deals’ any good.

Well not according to Which. At least not for the consumer.

Which suggests that only 1:20 of the Black Friday deals actually do represent any kind of financial saving. They found that 95% of the Black Friday deal items they investigated - which included popular tech, home and personal care products - were available for the same price or cheaper in the six months after.

Couple of tips they suggest;

  • Shop around, same price in multiple stores? Look out.
  • Be aware of RRP comparisons. Who sells at RRP?
  • Look for notes ‘explaining’ offers. Me thinks though does protest too much

For the 5% that do work to make a deal a good deal, make sure you want what it is you are buying. Sounds obvious but I remember buying a pair of Salmon Pink Chinos in the sale (great price) and throwing them away 6 months later, unworn. (Should have given them to my mate Nick Ford, he likes Salmon Pink Chinos, but he is about a foot taller than me).

Don’t get excited by deals. Breathe first. Wander around then think what would life be like if you didn’t own it. The same? Walk away.

Now unless you just won £105 million on the lottery, think can I afford this? Getting into debt on a deal makes it a bad deal. Any savings wiped out by the credit card bill that hits the mat.

Also, think about who is this a good deal for? Probably the retailer who has been sitting on the stock for months and sees the chance to shift some gear (Salmon Pink Chinos for example).

I am always wary of people who offer me great deals. I think they have probably set up their pricing, terms, value proposition in a way to move in order make me think I’ve won, when they expected the very deal on the table after the discussion in the first place.

Want to negotiate? Start there, after the first dance there is usually another.


Are you at an impasse? Are you facing deadlocked deals?

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Talk to one of our experts today.

Alan Smith
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