25 Nov 2021

Black Friday: a real deal?

From Nine To Noon, 9:35 am on 25 November 2021

Retailers and consumers are being warned about price hikes ahead of Black Friday sales. A survey suggests two thirds of respondents will buy goods in the annual flash sale, with over a third (38 percent) intending to spend more than $500.

Global consumer price comparison website Price Spy's survey finds the price of almost one in ten products listed on its website was hiked ahead of the sales period, only to be reduced on Black Friday.

Meanwhile the Commerce Commission is urging retailers to follow the law as Black Friday looms and Christmas creeps up.

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Photo: Melanie Phipps

Kathryn was joined by Commerce Commission chair Anna Rawlings and Jordan Tini, Price Spy's tech commentator and gadget guru.

Tini tells Nine to Noon Black Friday has been extended to more of a Black Week.

“It feels quite exploitative out there at the moment. We have these political parties imploding and pandemics and now we have one of the most exploitative sale events of the year that finds itself rapidly expanding each year as retailers jump on that hype.

“When you look at how the pandemic has shaped spending, this year Kiwis are looking at spending on average around $782 this year compared to around $300 last year which means it’s up around 68 percent. It’s become this very carefully crafted event of spending.”

Tini says the hype around the event is driving spending more than the deals actually being good value.

“I’m a recovering consumer in that regard. It’s the want versus need, do you want something or do you need something and I think Kiwis, we have the tools, we have Price Spy.’

He says consumers can use the Price Spy app to scan products and bring up their pricing history to find out if they’re getting a raw deal.

“It’s just about being smart and not getting into FOMO – the fear of missing out. Just because you missed out a few weeks ago doesn’t mean you have to buy now, you could wait until Christmas. It’s questioning your own motives about whether or not that thing you want is a thing you need.”

Commerce Commission chair Anna Rawlings says retailers need to ensure that the sale price they offer is genuine in comparison with what consumers expect to pay or what the usual price of that selling product is.

“There’s no issue with having the price of a product and discounting that for a sale, but we would be interested in reports where people think that prices are being inflated before promotion of an event solely for the purposes of discounting it for that event.”

Rawlings endorses Price Spy as being a good tool for shoppers to use to check pricing history on products.

“If you know that there is something at this time of year that you might be looking to buy, then we recommend that you shop around and have a look at prices before the sale so that you have a really good idea of how much value is being offered to you in a discount promotion.

“No matter what price you have to pay, you have to ask yourself, is this a good deal for you? Is this a reasonable price for the item that you’re looking to buy?”