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Are Black Friday deals worth Thanksgiving dinner?

Black Friday 2013 deals on TVs, HDTVs, iPads, iPhones

Black Friday ads appeal to the grey side of shoppers – a strong desire to get the best deal on electronics, mobile phones, latest gadgets and everything that helps in keeping up with the Joneses.

Astute shoppers don’t mind skipping the Thanksgiving dinner on the eve of Black Friday sale, so as to be in at the head of the serpentine queue.

The rush for deals is so high that Amazon didn’t want customers to wait until the day after Thanksgiving for Black Friday deals. In counting down to Black Friday 2013 Amazon is bringing deals all day, every day. Check out Amazon’s Black Friday deals. (Affiliate link.)

But the carrot of discounted prices and bargains on the Big Friday sale is not the only attraction for people in those long queues.

Retailers double the appeal of Black Friday specials by creating a sense of scarcity and urgency. Most popular items are advertised as available “till stocks last”, which roughly translates to “for the first hour” of the sale on Black Friday. There’s also a sense that the products will have to be bought at regular prices after the Black Friday sale is over.
Black Friday 2013 deals on TVs, HDTVs, iPads, iPhonesThen there is one more marketing trick that’s used by retailers – headline products.

These are usually popular items like iPhone, iPad, HD television which are advertised at a heavily discounted price – these are sometimes sold even at a loss by the retailer. The idea is to attract customers into stores, and then hope that they would buy other items at regular or even marked-up prices.

The Black Friday sales work because of many human tendencies. It appeals to shoppers’ need to conform – to be able to be part of the conversation. Shoppers don’t want to be left out, and leave with a regret – having missed out on a ‘once in a lifetime’ offer.

Shoppers also get a sense of achievement by securing a bargain. The feeling of victory of securing that iPad 2 for $99 less than her neighbour, helps boost her self-image. Bargain hunters are also driven by this feeling of winning the game with the retailer.

And then there is that feeling of scarcity. If I don’t secure the first place in the queue, I will miss out on a great deal. That feeling drives the hoarders among us to pick up items which we may not need – at least immediately.

Finally, the biggest driver that keeps retailers salivating for the Black Friday deals are the foot-falls – the number of people visiting their shops or online stores like Best Buy, Amazon or Wal-Mart. Getting people to visit shops is the biggest challenge for marketers. To have people queue up outside the shop for the whole night before Big Friday is a dream come true.

Once inside the shop, retailers ‘milk the cow’ in as many as ways as possible, and by the end of the day, consumers buy discounted products as well as regular sales or even marked-up products.

Unless the shopper is savvy and experienced in such Black Friday deals.

Those who do their research online spot the deals when they see them. They profit from these deals. They know exactly what they want.

Clever shopper also knows when to stop – to avoid regularly priced items, to skip ‘nice to have’ items even if they are discounted, and to know items that would be available at even lesser prices in a few days (like toys).

Best things to do for the Black Friday sale

  • Do extensive research online and shortlist the products you want to buy and the stores you wish to visit.
  • Do you really need to visit a store? See if you can buy the stuff online. There are great bargains available on many websites.
  • Take someone with you for shopping.
  • Remember, if you can’t get a deal, it’s OK. There’s Cyber Monday a week later.

How to prepare for the Black Friday sale

  • Toys
  • High-end television set
  • Winter clothing
  • Game consoles
  • DSLR cameras
  • Fitness equipment
  • Christmas decorations
  • Apple iPad mini 2 with retina display
  • Kindle HDX
  • Wine
  • Jewelry
  • Home improvement tools
  • Car tools

Check out Amazon’s Black Friday deals. (Affiliate link.)