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Black Friday: what is it and what are the advantages for the consumer?

The first record of the use of the term "Black Friday" dates back to 1869.

Two Wall Street businessmen, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, are said to have devised a plan to corrupt the gold market on the New York Stock Exchange by buying one absurd amount of gold in the hope of raising the price astronomically and selling it at a huge profit. On September 24, 1869, Friday, the conspiracy was discovered and the United States government intervened, causing the stock market to collapse. That day, many fortunes were lost, leading millionaires to bankruptcy.

However, this version is not consensual. More recently, another version became popular: that the origin of the name Black Friday comes from the fact that stores operate in "red" (with losses) all year round and the Friday after Thanksgiving is the first day of profit, due to the influx of consumers to stores. As the profit days were traditionally marked in black, the name Black Friday came up.

From the mid-1960s, the Philadelphia police began to designate the day after Thanksgiving as "Black Friday" because of the number of people who came to the city for the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States.

Currently, Black Friday is a day dedicated to shopping, with brands doing great promotions.

What are the advantages of buying on Black Friday?

In recent years, Black Friday has gained importance in the lives of merchants and consumers. For the former, it is the opportunity to increase sales exponentially with promotions and discounts. Many stores choose to extend opening hours and significantly lower prices to attract customers. In digital, Black Friday has also gained significance, with brands planning online campaigns that span the weekend.

For North American consumers essentially, Black Friday marks the beginning of Christmas shopping and the opportunity to purchase specific products at very low prices. In Portugal, where Black Friday is still a relatively recent tradition in commerce, purchases are mostly made in physical stores and online.

How to make the most of Black Friday opportunities?

Black Friday is an excellent opportunity to buy products at a reduced price, but we must all be careful not to be fooled by false discounts. Annually the Portuguese Consumer Protection Association (DECO) identifies several situations in which there is price manipulation: many stores raise prices a few days before Black Friday, then announce a false discount.

So, we leave you some tips on how you can make the most of Black Friday without being fooled.

  • Make a list of the products you want to buy and buy only what you put on the list;
  • Avoid falling into the temptation of a discount and don't buy products you don't need;
  • Research the prices of items on your list in advance. Be aware of the price history of the products you want to purchase and make sure that you are in fact buying at a discount;
  • Report to DECO stores that increase prices before Black Friday and then announce false discounts;
  • Compare promotions from various stores and choose the one that is most advantageous for you.

 

Good shopping!

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