Kiwis warned of fake sales ahead of Black Friday

Kristin Hall
Source: 1News

Black Friday is supposed to mean discounts galore. But, as the American-inspired sales day morphs into a ‘Black Week’ in New Zealand, Kiwis are being warned to look out for fake sales.

Some retailers have already started their Black Friday sales, which extend through Black Friday on November 26 and into ‘Cyber Monday’ on November 29.

PriceSpy New Zealand country manager Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett said New Zealand is following global trends.

“What’s happening in other markets like European markets is that Black Friday is becoming more of a Black Week, it's not only one Black Friday … I think retailers have seen that there is more demand, one sales day is not enough," she said.

"Covid-19 and the pandemic has also affected this decision that retailers are having their sales in a longer period rather than just on one day.”

But those wanting to take advantage are being warned not all sales are equal.

PriceSpy data from Black Friday 2020 shows 12 per cent of products listed on its website received a price hike on Black Friday.

For 8 per cent of products, the price was raised in the weeks leading up to Black Friday to be dropped again on sale day, making the discount look greater than it actually was.

And if you’re looking to save, it may pay to avoid the most popular products.

The data found products like Apple Airpods and the Nintendo Switch were about $10 more expensive on Black Friday 2020 than they were earlier in the year.

“There are definitely good Black Friday sales to be found but you shouldn't be looking at the most popular products,” Matinvesi-Bassett said.

“Rather look at the older models, if you’re willing to look at iPhone or Samsung older models you can find some good discounts there, but I think consumers really need to be aware that there are these fake sales as well.”

Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Auckland Mike Lee said humans are “hardwired to be drawn to bargains and sales”.

“The way these promotions work is creating what we call a heuristic or a signal to basically give the brain permission not to do any thinking anymore.

"When you see ‘Black Friday’ or ‘Sale’ or ‘Bargain’, automatically your brain thinks, ‘It’s a deal so I don't need to think too hard'."

Lee said the effect of lockdown, especially in Auckland, could impact spending this year.

“Research has shown when stress increases or wellbeing decreases, people find it harder to resist shopping temptation, so the idea of retail therapy is quite true.”

Wellington ExtremePC branch manager Garry Singh said international shipping delays due to the pandemic could also affect prices this year, and he recommends shoppers do their research.

“Don't go blindly, do some research about what you're going to buy, what’s the market price of that product you are going to purchase.”