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In this article, we will tell you what online stores don’t tell you – no, sales are not there to help, but the other way around.

Just think for a moment – Are Black Friday sales and discounts fooling you? Black Friday sale is a big day in the shopping calendar and it seems like still too many people are truly excited about it.

The Idea of a Black Friday sale started in America, of course. Earlier, Black Friday was meant for pre-Christmas shopping.

Now, the Black Friday sale has gone global and it’s not related to what it once was. The price fooling has been known for years. Everyone knows the scam and yet we will get it on sale. This has been a well-known fact. They increase the price and give a discount. And they do it all the time. The problem? People still accept such offers and even think that they have saved some money.

The real truth that must be revealed is that products aren’t at their cheapest on Black Friday. This is what our parents used to tell us since we were younger: There is no such thing as a sale, they just increase the MRP and then add a discount to it. That’s all.

Don’t we all love a sale? What makes a shopper happier than discounted products? What if we told you sales is a myth? What if we told you the prices of products are hiked before they are put in the sale section? People at least love to think that they are somehow controlling their financial status, even with buying on sales.

Don’t get me wrong – Sales and discounts can be real if there are actual sales, and there are consumer laws that govern how claims of discounts can be made. Just hiking it before a sale and then “discounting” it is an illegal practice in many (I suspect most) places, but maybe not everywhere.

The main point of the sales, such as Black Friday and other commercially invented “sales holidays”, like Valentine’s day, Singles day, holiday sale, Cyber Monday, or anything similar is working on your emotion. They target how you feel and then send you a message, so you feel like your life will become better if you buy something. Despite all that, you will think that you have made a great purchase and saved money as well. So, it’s a win-win situation, right?

I have been comparing some prices advertised online for Black Friday shopping with those off-line on ordinary day shopping. I have never seen a better deal on Black Friday. l have been telling my friends about this marketing hoax for a while, and since they too paid attention to prices, everyone quickly realized that I was right.

The items on sale available online or at the store are mostly non-moving products or goods that are near to their expiry date. The goods on display during normal days are of good quality. Visit any store a day prior to the sale & check out all items & note down their prices. Then visit that same store on the sale day, the items on display would have been replaced or moved to a different shelf. The store would be filled with sale items. Most of the goods that you saw a day prior would have ended up in the warehouse, only to be displayed “after” the sale season is over.

A clothing retailer accidentally exposed the landing cost vs MRP and I was shocked to see the margin. The landing cost at the retail outlet was ₹799 and MRP was ₹2499. Then they had this offer of buy 2 and get 2 free. Certain store chains do this price manipulation on a regular basis. Price is higher than it should be and then acts like you’re having a big sale. It’s just mind games and it works on anyone who won’t compare prices.

I have raised this issue with Amazon. They increase the price just before the sale and then provide a discount so ultimately selling at an earlier price or even dearer. The same is with Ali Express and other big online shopping websites.

Of course, they will use numerous psychological tricks to make you buy something, like reminding you about the item through email. You’ll also be able to see similar items while scrolling online – yes, you’re followed and the main point is that you spend money.

Unfortunately, that isn’t all. Several retailers especially buy very old stock from wholesaler warehouses specifically to sell at “sale” prices. They’ll be items that weren’t on the shelves at all prior to the sale day. The next ripoff is the “buy 2 get 1 free” and “2 for the price of 1”. People have short memories and don’t remember what the price of goods was before the sale. And finally the trick of selling a product for, say, $5 with the crossed-out price of $6.85.  Here’s what it is, it’s the old price that they’re going to raise to 6.85 immediately after the sale so that you feel thankful that you bought it at the “sales” price. Remember something: big suppliers hire psychologists for their marketing strategies. Some of the smartest and I would say – trickiest psychologists work in the marketing industry. They recognize feelings you crave in your life and then target you with different strategies. Wake up and don’t let them fool you like that.

In Canada, they had to put in a law that products must be at regular price for at least 6 months a year. Stops companies from having items perpetually on sale, in other words, the ‘sales’ price is the real retail price. This is called perfectly the “blind belief” of modern times. A “sale “ means we’re ripping you off a little less – That’s why it’s called “Black Friday” and not “Good Friday”, this is the day you get crucified. 

“You spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need. Not too bright folks”. – George Carlin

People constantly want to impress others with the things they buy, even those people don’t even like them. As you’ve realized, the entire shopping and spending thing are way deeper than anyone expects. Open your eyes wide and be sure that no one fools you – not again.

Black Friday was then just a retail term for how important the day was to the industry. Then along came local TV reporting, who slowly started creating their own interest. They created this mess, not the retailers. In fact, we never sold merchandise at full price, we sold them for 30 to 40% above full price whatever the customer would pay.

Did you know this about sales before reading this article?

What do you think about marketing psychology nowadays?

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