How to get the best deals at Black Friday 2014
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Before we get into Black Friday shopping
Black Friday 2014 ads are flooding the internet as we draw closer to the Black Friday sale this year.
Black Friday sees shopping frenzy in the US because it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping.
However, before we move into the holiday shopping season and look forward to bargain deals for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the eminent Christmas shopping, it is important to know how holiday sales work.
Psychology behind Black Friday bargains
OK, let's accept it. We all want bargains. It is hardwired in our brains.
It is human psychology to look for ways and options that make our life easier, faster, safer or more comfortable.
While we are driving, we are naturally inclined to look for a shorter or faster route. At the restaurant we look for a quiet table; while flying we look for a seat near the exit. This logic extends to shopping - we are looking for the best product at the lowest price. We want to be feel in control of the selling process and we get this feeling of control when we are able to buy a product at a price which we believe is a bargain.
The second logic is a sense of justice. If we believe that we are paying for a product more than it deserves, we feel uncomfortable even if we can well afford to buy that product at that price. We want to be treated fairly. So we are looking for products at a price we believe is reasonable.
Third, we also use the buying process during such holiday season shopping to get a sense of achievement. We like to boast of a great buy. We feel as if we have "won" the war of price with the retailer. Securing a bargain improves our perception of self-worth.
To learn more about these factors, you can read the tips of getting bargains at the Black Friday sale in this article.
Fourth, we don't want to be left out. Since most people we know will be buying at a Black Friday sale - either online or in-store, we also want to be part of the frenzy, with the minimum of efforts. We don't want to come home and be greeted by a neighbour who bought Xbox One at bargain price at the Black Friday sale.
Facts about Black Friday shopping
- Customers in the US spent $1 billion online on Black Friday in 2012, a 26% increase over the same day a year ago (Source: comScore)
- Shoppers spent $633 million on Thanksgiving Day, a 32% jump from the year before.
- As many as 57 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday in 2012, an increase of 18% over a year ago
- The most visited site in 2012 was Amazon.com, followed by Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple. (Read more stats on the CNN website.)
How Retailers Use This Knowledge To Increase Sales
Retailers know buyers' psyche well. Which is why they are in the business of selling. Major retailers have spent millions of dollars over the years to understand buyer behaviour and to conduct their marketing activities to exploit such buyer preferences.
So here are some of the tactics used by marketers.
1. Create a sense of urgency: Most sales like the Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday sales and Christmas holiday sales are 'once a year' sales and therefore create a sense of urgency. Nobody wants to miss out the most-anticipated sale of the year.
2. Create a sense of scarcity: This is a typical gimmick used by many businesses, and it is particularly true for Black Friday sales. Most Black Friday ads, especially for electronics, mobile phones, video games, HDTVs are advertised as "while stocks last". This 'first-come-first-served' approach creates artificial scarcity of supply, and people end up sacrificing their Thanksgiving dinner to be in the queue the night before the Black Friday sale.
3. Show 'em a carrot: Marketers create 'anchor sales' or 'headline products'. These are the most popular consumer goods, like Apple iPad with retina display, or Kindle Fire, and get the customers to visit the website or physical store.
Favorite shop for Black Friday
Which is your favorite shop for Black Friday deals 2014?
How To Get Bargains At Black Friday Sales
So, now you know how buyers think and you also know how sellers think.
How can you use this knowledge to your advantage while shopping at a Black Friday sale this year?
Here are a few things you should do to prepare yourself for the Black Friday deals.
1. Do extensive research. Go to popular websites like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com and Target.com. On these websites you will come across a great number of deals in the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Compare products, terms of delivery and payment.
2. Based on this research, make a list of products you are keen to buy, and the lowest price these are available at.
3. When you go to shop, either online or visit a store, keep this list with you, and stick to it. There are many distractions. Make sure you have the list in front of you and buy only those things that are on the list. Buy only if they are available at the price you have on your paper or lower.
4. Be prepared to walk away if you don't find. It's OK to return empty-handed than come back with an item that you either don't need or you are paying for at regular price.
5. If possible, pay in cash. Credit card spending entices buyers to spend beyond their budget if they are nor prudent and vigilant.
This year, it is expected that more people will be shopping online instead of queuing up outside stores. The top three retailers have already put up major sales in the countdown to Big Friday:
The largest online store in the world, with a wide variety of stock
While Wal Mart's in-store sales have been affected by Amazon's growing dominance, Walmart is focussing more on online sales to take Amazon head-on.
Best Buy specialises in consumer electronics with stores in the United States, Canada, China and Mexico. BestBuy.com is among the top ten retail websites in the United States. There are more than 1 billion visitors to BestBuy.com and 600 million visits to U.S. stores every year.
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