MIAMI, FL. – Black Friday shoppers on the look-out for big savings – the elusive 40, 50 and 60 percent discounts – might as well put their faith in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, to say nothing of You Know Who.
That is the conclusion of recent market analysis by the personal finance website WalletHub. That study predicted that prices of about 35 percent of so-called sale items on Nov. 24 will offer no saving at all when compared with their actual pre-Black Friday prices.
On the other hand, according to WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe, Black Friday savings are real in some categories of consumer goods, but shoppers need to avoid the hype to score big discounts.
“Shoppers can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on Black Friday,” Happe says, “if they know where to look.
“But not all items are actually being offered for less than usual.”
Black Friday – the day after the Thanksgiving holiday — is traditionally one of the biggest shopping occasions of the year, with more than 100 million American shopping in-person or online each year.
Nearly 30 percent of American consumers say they plan to spend less during the 2023 holiday season than they did in 2022. Based on years of prior spending history, however, retail analysts are taking that prediction with a large grain of salt.
“Black Friday … while it may have lost some of its excitement and magic, its role is nonetheless important,” says Hugh Fletcher, a global marketing director for Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology.
“It’s not about the best deals of the year, but the right deals at the right time,” he adds.
“We know that the number one reason for buying on Black Friday is to buy Christmas presents for loved ones … There is one event that consumers simply won’t scrimp on, and that’s Christmas.”
So, how can consumers get the most bang for their buck amid the hassle of the year’s biggest shopping craze on Black Friday?
WalletHub suggests that the best buys on Black Friday can be found in packaged consumer goods, like cosmetics, food items, toiletries and similar small gifts.
“Consumer packaged goods will be an average of 35 percent off on Black Friday,” Happe explains, “making them the product category with the most savings.
“You’ll also save the second-most money on Black Friday when buying apparel and accessories, getting an average of 32 percent off.”
The WalletHub study also predicted that consumers can save money when purchasing big-ticket items on Black Friday, when home appliances are discounted by an average of 28 percent.
But the WalletHub analysts warn consumers to stay away from computers, phones and other electronic items on Black Friday, when those items are only discounted by around 20 percent on average.
But those prices are still a steal compared to furniture, Happe says.
“Furniture is by far the worst category of item to shop for on Black Friday,” she adds. “You’ll only get an average of 11 percent off furniture purchases, which isn’t particularly impressive compared to other big times of the year for furniture sales.”
Other recent holiday studies have found that many consumers have begun to share WalletHub’s cynicism about the Black Friday retail experience and the values it offers.
According to a 2023 study recently completed by the international online research group YouGov, just 17 percent of consumers think they can find genuine discounts on Black Friday.
The YouGov researchers also found that 54 percent of consumers reported having previously visited a store in-person on Black Friday and thought it was overcrowded and uncomfortable, while 69 percent stated that they prefer to shop at local businesses rather than big box stores.
For additional information on the recent WalletHub study, go online to https://wallethub.com/black-friday-ads/16713
WalletHub is a personal finance website that launched in August 2013. It is based in Miami and owned by Evolution Finance, Inc.
WalletHub offers free consumer tools, such as its WalletLiteracy Quiz and its Financial Fitness Tool, which provides users with credit reports, credit scores and credit monitoring.