Over the weekend, a TikTok video exposing sneaky retail practices on Black Friday went mega-viral. In the clip, which has been viewed over 38 million times, a shopper pulls the Black Friday sale prices out of their sleeves, revealing normal sale prices beneath that are exactly the same:
Like, not even a dollar lower:
And it just keeps happening:
A representative for Target explained what happened, telling the New York Post that the TVs "were on sale before Black Friday as part of our early Black Friday sales." And to be fair, the tags underneath the Black Friday prices do clearly say "Sale."
Still, shoppers expect to find the very best deals on electronics and other items on Black Friday, so seeing that the prices stayed the same doesn't feel great. In the comments on the TikTok, people made it clear that it's not just Target, sharing their stories about spotting other retailers taking similar tactics that leave them feeling bamboozled.
Some people spotted retailers raising prices before Black Friday in an attempt to pass off the regular price as a sale.
And it's happening online, too.
And people expressed their frustration about how Black Friday in general just isn't what it once was.
So with retailers changing prices often and sometimes in sneaky ways, how are you supposed to find actual deals? Recently, I talked to Andrea Woroch about just that.
Woroch is a consumer savings expert who you may have seen sharing money-saving tips on shows like Today and Good Morning America, and she answered all of my Black Friday questions.
First, she recommends using the app Flipp to track prices on the items on your holiday shopping list. She likes Flipp because you can "add items to Flipp’s 'Watch List' feature to get notified when a deal becomes available for a specific gift on your shopping list."
Next, she says you'll want to check out an item's past prices to help you understand how much it should cost so you'll have a better sense of when you're actually getting a deal. "To determine if a Black Friday sale is a good deal, check the product’s historical pricing data using tools like Camelizer."
She also shared some tools that can help you compare prices across different retailers. "Comparing prices is also crucial, since you never know which retailer may be offering a deeper discount that day. Download PriceBlink for instant price comparison when you are shopping online, or use the ShopSavvy app to compare deals in store."
And finally, she loves using cash back tools that make deals even sweeter. "Use browser tools like Sidekick to get up to 25% cash back from thousands of retailers during Black Friday sales. You can also earn free gift cards to stores like Target and Amazon by scanning receipts using a cash-back app like Fetch."
Now I'm curious: How do you tell if you're getting a good deal? Let's talk about it in the comments.