Black Friday is now a week away, and although traditionally being a single day where special offers are available to consumers, many stores and outlets extend their sales for longer periods, but, as consumer groups warn, not all of the published bargains are quite as good as they seem, and so you are urged to be on your guard for so-called false offers.
This year, November 24 is the date for this year’s Black Friday, the first Friday after the American holiday of Thanksgiving, in which great discounts will supposedly be, once again, the protagonists. But be careful, because ‘all that glitters is not gold’.
To know that the discount is real, you have to check in various physical and online stores the price of what you want to purchase for at least the last thirty days, according to Miguel Crespo, from the Federation of Consumers and Users CECU. When a product is offered on promotion or at a discount, it is mandatory that the reference price, the lowest that has been applied to that product in the last month, or the discount percentage also appear next to that price.
However, in practice this is not respected and the discount is not being calculated based on the cheapest price, according to studies carried out by the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU). On Black Friday last year, according to the OCU, a third of the products that the organisation analysed were more expensive, that is, they could have been purchased cheaper at some time in the last month. It is essential, therefore, to monitor prices and, although we are already in very close dates and there is no time to do an entire month’s checks, there are tools to compare.
Among those tools that allow you to know the evolution of prices and, therefore, if it is true that it is the best of the month are:
Camelcamelcamel is a free price tracker, it has its own website and tells the Internet user where to find the item they want on Amazon and how its price has evolved in each store on the e-commerce platform.
Keepa is another similar tool, which allows you to obtain, in addition to the price history of a product within Amazon, create alert systems or see the products that have dropped the most in price in the offers section. It is an app that can also be used through browser extensions or from its website.
Idealo is a price and online offers comparator beyond Amazon. It also works with stores such as El Corte Ingles, Media Markt or Ebay and groups the offers and orders them from lowest to highest price so that the user has the cheapest option first.
Above all, remember, that if you had no intention of buying the product in the first place, whatever the perceived bargain still means you are spending on something you either didn’t want, or don’t need, so don’t be tempted into the retail marketers trap, and if you are tempted, then do your research, as you cannot wholly rely on the retail outlets, as has been demonstrated in numerous studies like that of the OCU, and it could well be you get the product cheaper by shopping around, or just waiting.