Retailers Trying To Pull Fast One On Shoppers
The turbulent days between Thanksgiving and Christmas have meant big discounts for American consumers. Retailers pull out all of the stops with Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday pricing, special offers, holiday coupons and more — anything to entice consumers to spend, spend, spend as the year draws to a close.
But then come the ugly parts: reports of injuries at some stores have become common as people fall over themselves to find the best deal. Buyers addicted to amazing discounts end up spending far more than they planned to. (CNN Money reports that online spending was a record $1.042 billion on Black Friday this year.) And then there’s the theory that the deals are actually big ripoffs.
According to a number of sources, prices are actually lower on some items at other times throughout the year, or even in the days following Christmas. It’s the big “lie”: retailers tell consumers that the holidays are the best time to spend less, when the facts show this is statistically very wrong…
The Wall Street Journal had a similar analysis:
It turns out that gifts from Barbie dolls to watches to blenders are often priced below Black Friday levels at various times throughout the year, even during the holiday season, and their prices follow different trajectories as the remaining shopping days tick down.
Consumers seem to be increasingly easy prey for the massive amounts of marketing they are subjected to over the holidays. That says nothing of the “Thanksgiving Creep” where stores are now opening earlier than ever, moving to Thanksgiving Day rather than waiting until Black Friday. While there were some that expressed outrage at the fact that a holiday has become a shopping day, others dutifully lined up, believing unbeatable deals were to be had. What’s next? Will holiday shopping begin on Thanksgiving morning or even the day before?
Yes, this deception regarding “deals” runs deep and becomes nearly impossible to resist with millions poured into advertising. Consumers are being “sold” on the idea that spending money is a necessity during the holidays. The message is hard to ignore when it is at every turn.
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