It has been interesting watching the concept of Black Friday (and cyber monday) evolve over the past 20 or so years from being mostly an "American big box retailer dumping excess stock" thing to "oh boy its black Friday, time to go buy stuff!" thing. The entire event has basically been undeservingly co-opted by everyone looking to cash in on hype over an event that basically doesn't even resemble what made it a thing in the first place.

Just like how for singles day in Asia, retailers shamelessly just jack prices up beforehand to make their sale prices look like discounts. These events seem more about whipping the naive mainstream consumer into a consumption frenzy than having real deals to be excited about. While those deals still exist, they are like nuggets of gold that you have to sift through the noise to find.

For those who use Amazon and want cost perspective on particular items, Camelcamelcamel is a superpower (https://camelcamelcamel.com/)

I’m sure one day I’ll find out they make money in all sorts of sketchy ways, but in the mean time it’s a great free website, and I’m continually astounded to see how often retailers play around with the prices they post.

This have been a joke for a few years here in Brazil, we call the day "Black Fraud" (sounds a little better in Portuguese)

The relevant point is that Black Friday is an "artificial" event here: we do not celebrate Thanksgiving Day so there is no need for a the stores to get rid of unsold inventory. It started just ~10 years ago when marketers began advertising it as a sales day.

Norway, too. You can see that they start to ramp up the price slowly a month or two before. At least here, we have laws against bogus sales - you have to sell so and so many items for the "normal" price, or have them listed for a certain period, before you can put them on such sales.

Not sure how much these (marketing) laws are enforced, though. Some 10 years ago, when everyone and their sister tried their hand at drop-shipping, you'd get drowned by these "99% sale" ads, where people would try to sell AliExpress watches/jackets/etc. for $100-$200, with some ridiculous before price. ("Before: $5000 - Now: $100", etc.)

A quick reminder that unless you were going to buy it anyway, a reduced price is not a "deal". You're spending more money than you otherwise would.
Here in Norway we didn't have Black Friday until like a decade ago or so, when shops started introducing it. They even had to explain what it was all about in the ads.

Now it's no longer Black Friday, no... now we have Black Week and even Black November, filled with 10% off prices or deep discounts on old junk nobody wanted...

There's still a few really good deals, and there's a positive to concentrating the deals to one day: you're looking for deals. Doesn't help me that a thing was off even more a few months ago if I missed it then.

My grandma used to say about discounts that they are all frauds to push items that they can't sell by first jacking up the prices and then putting a "discounted" price on it. I used to (naively) think that grandma just doesn't understand. Turns out, she understood pretty well.
In Australia it's just confusing. Black Friday was named after devastating bush fires in 1938-39 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_bushfires. Any Friday that has bad bushfires on it tends to pick up the name.

Over the last 5 years or so Black Friday sales have become a thing and I always suffer some degree of dissidence at the naming, as for me at least Black Friday has always had a negative connotation.

Some of my worst purchases were those where I cared a lot about how good of a deal I was getting.

The more you focus on the deal, the less you focus on whether or not you really want what you're buying.

I remember camping outside Circuit City/CompUSA/Good Guys or Fry’s the day before with friends and nothing better to do to snag a door buster laptop or desktop computer, decent specs for like $2-300 bucks. They would hand out vouchers for the door buster items and I would sell them to people who showed up late and basically get a free computer. Good side hustle in my teens.

Once retailer recognized how lucrative it was and started making special SKUs for Black Friday of cheaper products was when I realized the Black Friday I loved was dead and stopped going out.

Can anyone relate?

I worked in retail sales from 2004-2006 and I remember management ordering us to increase prices on items leading up to big sales. It seemed like fraud and it made me feel icky doing it.

Especially when we would replace labels of an item that cost $99 to say that it cost $139 and was now on sale for $99.

Luckily I haven't had to work in retail since...

If you care about the climate crisis you should avoid participating in sales like this. It’s a very unsustainable pattern that must go away. Buy what you need when you need it (or even better borrow it), don’t buy a bunch of things that happen to be cheap at a sale. It’s a mindset shift that needs to happen NOW!

Edit: autocorrect miss

I purchased a 27 inch Dell monitor a month ago and paid $295 total after taxes here in Canada. A month after my purchase, I could have gotten it for $20 cheaper ($275 after taxes).

However, now if I try to do the same, it comes out to $306 after taxes for Black Friday sales....


It's an excellent monitor btw, just wait for the price to go down a bit again.

I'm sure this surprises no-one who has ever waited for a Black Friday (deal) only to suspect/know that the price is no different than before. It feels especially this way in Europe where retailers have adopted "Black Friday week" or similar purely to encourage additional spending.

There is a tool (in Switzerland) I use a lot. TopPreise (http://toppreise.ch) scrapes, aggregates and compares prices from retailers but also keeps a graph of the price evolution over time. You can see the highest and lowest prices over the recent period and it's very useful to know if what you're actually buying is a "deal" or not.

One of the largest retailers in Switzerland - Galaxus https://www.galaxus.ch/en/ - has also adopted a similar strategy for their own products. Showing 3 months of how the price has changed.

I'm currently in the market for a dryer and checked the prices the last couple of days. It went from 649 Euros a week ago up to 739 Euros today. Fully expect it to fall back to 699 Euros tomorrow.
It's Buy Nothing Day, per Adbusters.
I figured this out last year, I bought a big set of Dewalt power tools which sat unopened for a long time but I had to buy them at black Friday to get the deal. When I went to return them they were almost 10% cheaper then when I bought them except Lowes had also snuck in a monstrous $100 shipping fee that I didn't notice at the time meaning and which was non refundable meaning I probably paid 30% above retail because I so desperately needed these tools that I wasn't ready to use.
I remember when Black Friday meant tremendous free-after-rebate deals… Among other things, I recall ‘purchasing’ a free inkjet color printer, a free PDA (personal digital assistant), and a free spool of 50 blank cds! Those were the days.
Yes this is true for appliances not so much for electronics. Just follow the apple products as an example. By the time Black Friday roles around we have the newer laptops and the older ones are almost always on sale.
Seeing this on Black Friday deals. Something is reduced by $150 for Black Friday, but it turns out the sale price is the normal price you would find anywhere.

Double check prices before buying anything else today and tomorrow

Could 2020 have been some peculiar outlier because of Covid and supply issues?
There are a lot of junk ‘deals’ on Black Friday, but there are also legit deals. For example, AirPods are $20-$40 less than usual (and aren’t EOL, which is one trick retailers pull). I picked up several items this year at prices that are significantly lower than normal.

I have to be careful, though — only buying things with a verifiable price history, which typically means name brands. Otherwise it’s too easy to be fooled by fake ‘normal’ prices.

I use dealnews.com to keep tabs on most things I’m interested in; otherwise I use camelcamelcamel for spur-of-the-moment purchases.

C'mon, guys, there are genuine BF discounts. They do exist! And people do know the deal value, when they see it.

The retailers don't have to discount everything on the floor, they just need the traffic. Once in, some items could still be purchased as valued, the discounts on some items help pull the people in. And sure, the mood and expectation helps.

It is a balancing act, but marketing does not equal cheating, some [lot] manipulation there is, of course. And the crowds are willing too, now demand discounts on anything of value!

A particular Samsung tablet I put in my Amazon list a while back now has a banner "Black Friday Deal" but the price hasn't changed.
Have seen this on everty single TV deal on Amazon at camelcamelcamel price history. Doesn't look like a good to buy a TV
In Switzerland digitec is a common website to buy hardware, and it has a price trend graph on their website:


Not really surprising. Most clothes at the outlet mall are specifically made for the outlet mall too, and you start to wonder about the veracity of the deep discount when it's Fall 2021 and the "discounted" item you're looking at has a tag that says "Fall 2021."
The worst example I've seen this year was a saddle bag for my bike I bought for 17€ about a year and a half ago. Regular price. Yesterday same shop, black week, now it is 20, reduced from 30.
Supply and demand wins again I think. None of this is a surprise given price inflation and supply shortages. Probably at least another year of this as covid is far from gone with delta + antivax.
I see Black Friday much like the DFS sales. Ignore sale prices and do your research. (Probably doesn’t make much sense outside the U.K.)
Was kinda disappointed when I visited Madrid during Thanksgiving a couple of years ago and it seemed downtown was taken over by Black Friday shoppers (https://amp.diariodenavarra.es/noticias/vivir/2021/10/29/el-...)
I think a lot of people in the comments are focused on the various sales aspects of why black Friday prices move the way they do however I think this year is an example of high inflation being more of a factor than anything else. I'd think this is an indicator that it is probably a good time to buy some inflation hedges instead of discretionary consumer goods.
External spinning disk storage prices and outliers: https://shucks.top/
Always check the item on camelcamelcamel before buying on Amazon. A lot of times you will find surprises in the prices chart.
“Black Friday” = the day most realtors go from “in the red” to “in the black” financially for the year.

Been interesting watching it mutate from merely the day customers start buying gifts en masse in earnest, to a real discount & deals day, to a jack-and-drop fakeout.

Strangely I heard about 'buy nothing day' (buynothingday.org) years before I heard of Black Friday, thanks to the work of some graffiti stencil artist.

I celebrate it every year in my own personal way.

Seeing this with Apple too, bought mbp two weeks ago for 2550 today it’s 2750 but they offer $140 cash back through a gift card. No deal here just blatant manipulation.
> Which? said popular items it found to be the same price or less before Black Friday last year included washing machines, soundbars and TVs.
I mean, I use it to extend subscriptions for a few services or buy some digital rpg books. It's good to know that I can get a new coupon every year about the same time.
I always wonder, Are this practices creating inflation? Once the price has gone up it's difficult to ever come back to it's previous price.
Maybe it's called "black" because most customers gets screwed buying things which they were made to believe they are good deals when they are not.
Do you want a genuine Black Friday deal?

I am giving a 33% off of my book Deployment from Scratch[0] with discount code "blackfriday". The discount is bigger than even the one on launching and most of the copies are sold for full price.

I agree that other sellers should be more honest... the problem is that some people (inc. my parents) just love discounts so much and are completely blindsided...

[0] https://deploymentfromscratch.com/

This explains why at best I get maybe a couple more alerts (or none) on my wish list type tracking services regarding actually good deals…
Most of those discounts are based on the advice price. And the advice price is a max selling price estimated by the supplier.
Supply chain + inflation-adjusted dollars though?
Blessed Friday deals are more cheaper.
COVID economics at work
Speaking to the 10% everything at covert instruments is on sale substantially.

No affiliation just a fan thats drooling.

Of course, the prices are higher.

Especially from customer perspective they have to be. The difference is finally the price for a bundle of valuable services.

Boosting egos by making them think they're are smarter than they really are.

Entertainment.Price hunting as a game. Without a gaming console! See, they even saved you money on this!

Shopping as a social experience. Everybody does it, and so do you. You want to belong, don't ya?

Boast about it. Your social environment will celebrate you. Except the odd bastard, that spoils the mood, of course.

And since evereybody wants the candy now, the prices must be higher now. Higher demand, higher prices.

They just look lower, because that is what you're buying.

The look.

They look good to let you let you look good.