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Corruption

Why Black Friday is a complete scam

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Retailers simply inflate the prices of ‘bargains’ in advance, before reducing them on the day.

It’s that time of the year again. Backed by numerous mainstream media outlets, big chain stores have been shoving allegedly ‘bargains’ in the face of the public. It is virtually impossible not to know about it. Some large retailers had recently announced that they will be extending their deals for five days after thanksgiving morning, as opposed to just one, in an act of greater ‘generosity’.

Looking at the huge chunk taken off the prices, it does almost seem too good to be true. So what gives? Why would the retailers do this, if it could hurt their overall profits?

Well it doesn’t. The point about it being too good to be true is correct. Black Friday is a complete scam to manipulate money from people.

In the majority of deals offered, it is simply a marketing scam, designed to make people BELIEVE they are saving money, as opposed to actually saving money. Retailers actually make more money during this holiday period, as opposed to losing out. Seriously, why would profit-oriented companies risk losing out on such a great deal of money?

What really happens is that the prices of goods are inflated in advance, and then simply slashed to a lower price on the day. Sometimes items are gradually increased months in advance; other times, it is a sharp but subtle increase, maybe a month or so before Black Friday. Sadly, many people are oblivious to this.

One study in the Wall Street Journal showed that many deals advertised on Black Friday prices last year were actually more expensive than they were at other times of the year. For example, the data within it shows that a deal on a brand new car in April would have been cheaper than buying it on Black Friday.

Another study by Kiplinger.com shows similar results, revealing items from cars and cruises, to furniture and exercise equipment, being largely overpriced during the holiday period, when they are supposed to be reduced.

Of course, there will be some exceptions. People might brag about how they are saving money in the deals. But are they really saving money? Say, if you spend £150 on an extra TV, that was originally £300, are you really saving £150? No, you are spending £150, simply because it is advertised so strongly.

In places like America, where the tradition originated from, it is actually much worse. Several angry customers have complained in the past that deals are not there, even after they queued for ages. This is simply because advertisers fabricate deals, just to get shoppers to the front door. Once other people have taken the bait, retailers will be able to show more enticing offers, and get people to spend more anyway. It is called impulse buying. Another insidious marketing technique.

This is not designed to warn people off Black Friday spending completely. If one was planning to buy some Christmas presents early, or to buy something that they actually needed and would have bought anyway, then it makes sense. Rather, this is to criticize the manipulative tactics and techniques used by retailers to squeeze money out of the public.

It might almost make you think that traders are trying to make people part with their money. But of course, why would they be tempted to do that?

If you really want to buy stuff at a reduced discount, just wait until after Christmas, when the goods are actually at a significantly lesser price. But again, try not to fall victim to the other merchandising tactics shown in this article.

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