Reading Time: 6 minutes

THE FALLACY OF BLACK FRIDAY DISCOUNTS

Why are Black Friday discounts so lucrative, and why are we as consumers so drawn to them? Keep reading to find out!

Words By Varnika Srivastava

19/11/2021

In most of the world, the Black Friday discount frenzy marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It is usually signified by doorbuster bargains, congested malls, and remaining glued to your computer to avoid missing out on online-only flash specials. Black Friday was initially started in the United States of America, marking the day after Thanksgiving. Nowadays, it is no longer one day but usually spans weeks, if not the whole month of November. Furthermore, although it was tied to the American national holiday, it has spread across the world like wildfire and is now a staple in most countries. But why is it so? The primary reason for this is an increase in mass consumerism, a phenomenon that has become more prevalent in the past few decades. The allure of a big discount for a limited time period often forces consumers to spend more than they normally would, even if they do not realise it.

According to Bloomberg, Black Friday discounts are a ruse. The Wallstreet Journal echoes this sentiment. The dirty little secret behind Black Friday offers is pricing manipulation throughout the year, particularly in the weeks running up to the holiday. As the weather cools, retailers raise prices in preparation for the holiday shopping rush. Black Friday deals look to provide shoppers significant savings; however, the artificial price hikes leading up to Black Friday lead to erroneous savings expectations. Small businesses find it challenging to compete with the advertising machineries of national chains. Major retailers spent over a quarter of a billion dollars on Black Friday advertisements alone last year. According to a Chamber of Commerce report, the average small business spends only $400 per month on marketing. Even if a smaller brand can manage a bigger monthly marketing budget, competing with the big box companies is a Herculean task.

Small companies are often unable to decrease prices, especially not to the levels of large chains. We all know that big box businesses can afford to give great discounts because they buy and produce stock in large quantities. Small companies simply cannot compete with such prices while remaining viable, therefore they are forced to sell at a higher price. It is challenging for small businesses to compete in a price-cutting event like Black Friday. The one thing that can keep small companies viable is a dedicated client base.

However, the greatest fallacy of Black Friday sales is that most big retailers cut back on the quality of the product when they offer discounts. The items that generally go up for sales are not top quality and are more often up for sale because they were not bought by retailers at full price. One of the reasons behind this is poor quality or outdated product design. This is especially true for fashion and appliances. We here at Staiy ensure that the discounts that we offer on our products come from our own profit margin, and do not compromise with the quality of the product in any way, shape or form. Sustainability is important throughout the entirety of the supply chain and we believe that no one should suffer for our gain, not the consumer, nor the producers we work with.