It’s that time of the year again, and we all know holidays represent big spending and big savings. As we wrap up the 4th quarter of 2016, people from all over the nation are preparing for Black Friday sales that traditionally offers consumers with the sweetest deals under the sun. However, if we were to read the fine print, it becomes clear that the majority of shoppers are largely misled. Editor of product analyst platform, The Wirecutter, J.D. Levite reveals insight that you may find surprising. Levite monitors the rates of online products annually to bring transparency on how much money people are really saving. Other factors they consider are the durability and return policies that vendors offer as well. By these means, Levite concluded that less than 1% of these deals are actually significant on Black Friday. Additionally, these discounts are nearly identical to what shoppers will find in stores. In reality, The hype is built on the fact that no other day out of the year offers this amount of sales all at once.
One example of how vendors create this discounted illusion is by raising prices before Black Friday only to drop them on the day after Thanksgiving. Shoppers should take advantage of the abundance of web applications that can track how prices fluctuate throughout the year. One tool available is Camel Camel Camel (CCC) that records the price history of items on Amazon.com. Users can also be notified when these items are priced at a lower rate or reach a designated price point. CCC data shows some interesting trends such as a pair of audio monitors generally priced around $120. Their algorithms indicate that they are priced the lowest not on Black Friday but during the month of August.
Another mobile app for iOS devices, Nifti, has a similar business model but compares prices in physical stores as well. Also, they demonstrate predetermined discounts that may or may not be advertised in stores. ShopSavvy, available for iOS and Windows phones allows users to scan a product’s bar code in stores and their online database will show the best deals elsewhere either online or brick and mortar. It also enables people to review their suggestions and whether or not the deals were beneficial to their shopping goals. Slice has a unique approach where users are alerted when items they’ve previously purchased are being advertised at an even lower rate. It does this by scanning your email for tracking numbers and other data after you bought a product. It includes recall notifications and analytics that display your spending activity. Available for free on iOS and Android; Slice has become recently compatible with the Apple Watch as well.
Still, think Black Friday is the day of dominant deals and discounts? Have you used any of these apps and if so, which ones do you find most useful? Share this post and let your friends know that there’re better ways to shop this holiday weekend!