By now, your email inbox, your Facebook and Twitter feeds, and even your mailbox will have been filled with wonderful deals on Black Friday sales.
Of particular interest are the 50+ percent deals at that well-known store in the corner of the universe, Amazon.
Ever wonder how Jeff Bezos managed to amass a £100 billion fortune? Simple: Amazon has Black Friday sales that aren’t exactly the sales it says they are.
Now, Black Friday is traditionally the day after the American holiday of Thanksgiving, where no one goes back to work and they have a day to shop around for bargains.
Think of them as a traditional early Boxing Day sale where Fishers of Keswick offered genuine savings on a range of outdoor clothing or you could get a grand piano at Harrods for half the normal price.
These are genuine sales: fishermen want to get rid of last season’s wares to make room for the spring and summer stuff they hope to sell in the coming months and Harrods needs to trade that big Steinway bulge to make room for a Gucci display . bags or Rolex watches.
But, particularly with the rapid increase in online sales, understanding what is and what is not a genuine price reduction is very unclear.
Take, for example, DFS. Every time I walk by their showroom, it seems like they have a sale. If I were a retailer and had some stock I wanted to move or wanted room to bring in next season’s stock, I would lower the price to get rid of it. In the world of DFS, no one seems to pay full price and no one seems to know what the proper price should be, as it seems to change by rank on an almost rotational basis.
And, for me at least, the problem is that they don’t actually have a warehouse full of stock. No, everything is made to order. They haven’t paid a vendor upfront and can decide on a whim which they will quote as the original price, or more likely these days, ‘post-event price’. The key, here, is the Recommended Retail Price (RRP).
But back to Black Friday. I looked at one Amazon product, the Echo Show 8, which has an RRP of £119.99 with a Black Friday price of £69.99, a saving of £50 or around 42 per cent.
Two things: first, what is PVP? It is the price that the manufacturer or wholesaler recommends that it should have. But in this case, Amazon is the manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer. In effect, you can say any price you want!
Second, is £119.99 the actual pre-sale price? Since May 2021, the price of this product has fluctuated from £119.99 to £69.99 at the end of September. The average price at which it has been offered over the last 18 months has been £104.31.
The same applies to the similar and older model, the Echo Show 5, which has an RRP of £74.99 and is currently on offer at £34.99 at a saving of 53 per cent. Its average price since May 2021 has been £60.17, meaning the saving is actually much less than the stated 53 per cent.
By the way, there is a way to check the past prices of anything in the Amazon store: simply search for ‘compare Amazon price history’ in your favorite search engine and search for an animal that gives you the hump… three times.
What retailers that practice these ‘smoke and mirrors’ pricing do is based on consumer psychology. Give us a high price that may or may not be real, and then you give us a sale price and show a fantastic percentage off and we fill our boots.
So instead of falling for the perfectly legal psych tactics employed by stores displaying wonderful savings, do your homework before giving them your hard-earned money and adding it to Bezos’s billions.
About Cumbrian Cat
Born in Cumberland and will be living in Cumberland again from 2023, having spent the better part of the last 50 years in a place called Cumbria, this cat has consumed all nine lives and a few others.
Always happy to snuggle up in a friendly lap, the preference is a local lap and not a lap that wants to descend on the county to turn it into something it’s not. After all, you might think that Cumbria/Cumberland/Westmorland is a land forged by nature (glaciers, rivers, decomposition of volcanic rocks or sedimentary layers), but in reality, the Cumbria we know today was forged by generations of local people. people, farmers, miners, stonemasons and foresters.
This cat is a local moggy, not a Burmese, ocicat, or Persian, and though I’ve been around the block a few times, every time I jump I end up standing in my home county. I am passionate about the area, its people, past, present and future, and those who come to admire what we hold dear, whether it be lakes and mountains, wild seacoasts, vibrant communities or history as rich and diverse as anywhere in the world. world.