Oh, Black Friday, the one day every year that retailers make every effort to convince consumers to wait in long lines with the promise of one-day-only deals that can’t be beat. But is it really worth it? The answer, is actually, no — it’s often not worth it.

I’ll admit, I’ve never been a fan of Black Friday, I’ve always thought it was a sham and a day of “bad/medicore deals” for consumers that have been packaged nicely to look appealing. I can guarantee on any of the other 364 days in the year, most people would do some kind of price and feature comparisons and shop around before making their purchase.

That isn’t the case with Black Friday and that’s exactly what retailers bank on (pun intended). Until consumers smarten up and don’t blindly trust the retailers word, the Black Friday madness will continue.

Every year people seem to lose their sensibility (video) when presented with these so called “doorbuster” deals. After all, $199 for a 42″ TV is surely a must buy. Meanwhile, what you didn’t pay attention to was the fact that the TV is only 720p and is some cheap piece of garbage. In this age of high-definition video why would anyone want a TV that isn’t capable of 1080p or 1080i?

But it isn’t just the fact that the best “deals” often feature old and outdated technology that upsets me.

An analysis by Decide.com and The Wall Street Journal of this year’s most-touted Black Friday deals shows that many of the bargains advertised as “doorbusters” were available at lower prices at other times of the year—sometimes even at the same retailer. Shocking.

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Here are some examples of Black Friday deals not being the best possible deal:

Apple iPod Touch, 5th generation, 32GB

Black Friday price: $294.99, incl. $50 gift card (Best Buy) — side note: Apple has a better deal on its online store: 32GB iPod Touch for $268

Earlier November price: $284.99, no gift card

Kitchen Aid Artisan Series Stand Mixer

Black Friday price: $319.99 (Sears)

March price: $296

GE Adora dishwasher

Black Friday price: $598 (Home Depot)

October price: $538

Really, how could this be?

It’s all a game. Retailers will typically never say that the prices available on Black Friday are the lowest prices ever to protect themselves. Additionally, retailers use certain tactics such as heavily discounting a limited supply of loss leaders to lining up less-expensive items that can be sold at low prices without killing profit margins.

I’m hoping that all of this gives you something to think about before you run out to the store next year.

What do you think of Black Friday?


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3 Comments

  • Aleta
    Posted November 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM 0Likes

    Good on ya! Thanks for giving some concrete examples.

    • Jeff Weisbein
      Posted November 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM 0Likes

      No problem, thanks for the comment!

  • Mattan Ingram
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM 0Likes

    Hmm, those are quite big differences. Know of any good services to track deals and get notifications?

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