Black Friday: which discounts are worthwhile?


Status: 11/24/2021 6:24 a.m.

On November 26th, many retailers will officially start the Christmas business with “Black Friday”, which will entice them with generous discounts. What do customers have to look out for when hunting for bargains?

By Lilli Hiltscher,

The Germans want to spend 4.9 billion euros on Black Friday this year. After all, there is hardly any other day of the year that makes shopping so worthwhile: retailers lure with low prices and discounts of more than 50 percent. The first discounts are already available: During the “Black Week”, many retailers start offering specials even before the actual shopping day. But is the discount battle really worth it for customers?

Can customers really save on Black Friday?

On average, consumers were able to save around four percent on Black Friday last year. The comparison portal “Idealo” found in an analysis of the price development of the most popular product categories that 61 percent of the products actually cost less than before. However, only about every seventh offer was reduced by more than 20 percent compared to the previous month.

Which products are worth buying on Black Friday?

Often, products from previous years in particular are particularly advertised. This is what consumer advocates from Stiftung Warentest found. According to the experts’ results, many products become cheaper over time: “Patience is worth money.”

In addition, experts advise not to commit to a specific version of a product in advance. Julia Gerhards from the consumer center in Rhineland-Palatinate recommends not necessarily buying the most popular version of a product: “If I buy the version in the funny pink instead of the chic black, the price can make a significant difference.” That is why you should keep an eye on all variants of a product.

Products that, on the other hand, are already popular and are often sold, are therefore not offered cheaper for discount campaigns such as during Black Week. Here consumer advocates advise comparing prices and not buying them spontaneously. In addition, customers should keep an eye on prices, especially when it comes to electronics. Because of the persistent delivery difficulties, the prices have recently risen significantly: “Here it can be worthwhile to wait until the coming year before buying,” says Gerhards.

How does the bargain hunt become a success?

In order to benefit from the bargains during Black Week, customers should think carefully in advance about what they want to buy. Expert Gerhards advises: “If I know what I want and what conditions the product has to meet, I can search for it in a targeted manner.”

The consumer advice centers for North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate advise you to properly check discounts on all products and to compare prices. Iwona Husemann from the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia recommends keeping an eye on the prices for a certain product during the course of the year. “Because anyone who knows the original price can see through fake discounts,” said the consumer advocate

Because there are hardly any price cuts of 50 percent or more. That is why the expert also advises using price search engines to compare the prices of a product from different providers and to monitor them over a longer period of time. “Only when a special offer cannot be undercut with searches in two price search engines can the click on the buy button be worthwhile with great certainty,” said the consumer advocate from North Rhine-Westphalia.

Consumer advocate Gerhards from Rhineland-Palatinate adds: “To catch the perfect moment when a product is particularly cheap, it pays to use the price alarm clock. The website then automatically notifies customers when the price has fallen below a certain level. ”

What should customers watch out for when shopping on Black Friday?

Most online shops can flexibly adjust their prices. Consumer advocates point out that customers who frequently search for a particular product are shown higher prices. That is why the expert Husemann advises to shop anonymously on the net, “by regularly deleting cookies, activating the incognito mode in the browser and hiding the IP address”.

In addition, the risk of fraud is particularly high on discount days, says the specialist: “Fake shops are difficult to recognize at first glance. In some cases, they are copies of real websites.” That is why she recommends paying for goods online only on account or by direct debit.

Julia Gerhards also advises stopping by the shop around the corner: “The stationary trade offers some advantages, not least because of the delivery difficulties this year. And there, too, retailers are now using days like Black Friday and reducing their prices.”

What tricks do retailers use to encourage customers to buy?

The consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia points out that online retailers in particular often use marketing tricks to put their customers under pressure in order to achieve quick sales. Popular methods are, for example, a scrolling bar that shows how much goods are still in stock or a watch that is supposed to create time pressure. “But it is usually not possible to see how many existing articles are behind the bar: There can be ten, or 1000 as well.”