What to Watch Out for On Black Friday

Shariq Kazi

Staff Writer

Planning to go shopping this Black Friday? Here’s a breakdown of what you need to look out for.

  1. Price Hikes Before Black Friday
    Retailers and sellers may raise prices on Black Friday. For instance, when looking at the Crock Pot, John from the Medium Corporation says, “We noticed that the highest price of the year for the popular slow cooker was the day before Black Friday.” There are ways to combat higher prices. For instance, one can keep an eye on a specific item for a few weeks to see how the product’s price changes. Another strategy is to use a price-tracking program. Here is an example of a price tracker, although it’s mainly supported for Amazon products.

    A price graph of the Google Pixelbook showing the history of the price for the past year from camelcamelcamel.com
  2.  Products Made Specifically for Black Friday
    Sometimes when researching a specific item, there may not be many reviews or history on that item. Sometimes this occurs because the model was made specifically for Black Friday to be sold by certain retailers. Some examples of these are the Samsung NU6070 and the LG UK6190, which barely have a handful of reviews and are not being sold in many retail stores.
  3. Same Old Products, Same Old Deals
    In a study by NerdWallet that analyzed different Black Friday ads longitudinally, it was discovered that a majority of the retailers listed at least one product two years in a row… at the same discount. The deals that are available on Black Friday can even be found throughout the year for some products. It also turns out that the items that have the biggest discounts have been in the market for at least one year.
  4. Mail-In-Rebates
    When looking through a few Black Friday ads, such as JCPenny’s, be sure to watch out for the phrase “after mail-in-rebate” underneath the price. The problem with mail-in-rebates is that they are not an easy way to receive money back for purchasing a product. This is because manufacturers want to retain the money that has been spent on purchasing their products. Given that redemption rates for rebates have never reached 100%, it’s clear there is a degree of deterrence that keeps consumers from receiving their money. In fact, the rebate redemption rates can be as low as 5%.

Before going out to shop on Black Friday, it is always a good idea to research products by examining their reviews, specifications, and seeing if other stores offer similar deals outside of Black Friday. Some deals can even be found after Black Friday as retailers offer them throughout the year for some products, so opportunities to find great deals will continue after this Friday.