Credit: CC0 Public DomainBlack Friday is over us once again. The annual ritual of offers kicks starts the Christmas purchase…
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Black Friday is over us once again. The annual ritual of offers kicks starts the Christmas purchase period. Resellers hope to clear old warehouses to create new lines, especially produced to utilize Christmas expenses and counteract sales decline in November. Shoppers hope to trap a bargain.
But the degree that people actually make savings on Black Friday is very doubtful. It is important to be aware of the tactics that retailers use to prevent you from exceeding or buying something that you will regret later. Price points and time frames are manipulated to maximize the purchases we make, so think about what you really need or want, as well as your budget, is the key to surviving the shopping period without exceeding.
Up to Black Friday is often celebrated secretly ̵
1; shoppers can not find out what the deal will be until much closer to the date. This allows retailers to adjust prices closer to the time, depending on things such as the competition, the market and the level of consumer noise around different issues. It also means that it is more difficult for shoppers to be knowledgeable. It takes away much of the planning time that customers may need to work through an expensive purchase, forcing people to make purchase decisions faster than normal.
Shoppers quote lower prices as the main reason for shopping on Black Friday. But it’s only meaningful to take advantage of lower prices if you buy something you would like to buy at least. It often does not happen.
When I spoke to customers for a major research project I implemented on loan credit, they told me about their expectations of Black Friday sales and how the expectation of reduced goods was exciting but often blocked another otherwise sensible Christmas action plan. The main problem was that they did not know what would decrease, so could not incorporate this into its long-term financial planning.
Over half of the people who participated in the research said they made lists to help control their expenses during the Christmas season. But 80% of them said that they had purchased products during Black Friday that did not meet the Christmas agenda. Instead, they were bought on an impulse driven by the knowledge that it was “a good discount”. One theme for the research results was that customers would make purchases (or not make them) based on how it could affect their mental state after the fact.
When we make purchases we (sometimes subconsciously) think about the emotional consequences of our purchase. If you buy something and regret buying it later, it’s called the buyer’s regret. As part of the human condition, we are programmed to try to avoid having negative feelings like regret. But it was also clear in my research that people also suffer from FOMO when they trade – the fear of missing a bargain.
In the case of Black Friday, the pressure in a time-limited sale means that we often do not have enough time to decide if we should really buy something and the internal struggle to avoid both the buyer’s regret and FOMO is accelerated. This is one of the reasons we make impulse purchases – because dealers force us to make a quick decision.
These feelings can be enhanced when other factors are considered. My research highlighted how consumers are already in debt, things are particularly problematic. This gives extra stress. The product may not have been taken into account since it was too far out of a debt-to-GDP perspective. But with a significant discount, it leads to the product getting closer and making it much more tempting – even if it still exceeds their resources. Many high-cost credit providers make use of this at this time of year and offer quick money to bridge that gap.
With pressure to spend on Black Friday and the coming weeks high, these are four practical ways to help you manage your expenses:
1. Make a list
Plan the items you want to buy for yourself and for others at Christmas. Stay on that list. Allow only space if it is an equivalent purchase that allows you to cross something from that list.
2. Make a Budget
Stick to what you can and can not afford. If you have to borrow money, buy the best interest rates and have a clear plan for how to pay back.
3. Make a Black Friday Pension
If you know you are susceptible to impulse purchases on Black Friday, plan ahead. Create a separate savings account to add throughout the year, or have an informal method at home. There are many ways to save; Use a regular savior if you can make deposits every month (these tend to have good interest rates) or have a container in the house to put the small coins into your handbag at the end of each week.
4. Make Time
Retailers expect you to make purchases to avoid FOMO or buyer’s regrets. If you are not very sure, it is best to rule out making some snap decisions. Savvy shoppers in the UK report can find better deals outside the Black Friday timeframe, using price compilation sites and investigating purchases. This removes time-limited offer and gives you time to consider your options (and if you really want to buy something in the first place).
The psychological differences between those who love and those who fool on Black Friday shopping