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"It's The Same": This Eye-Opening Viral Video Proves That Black Friday Sales Aren't Always As Good As They Want You To Think

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:

black friday price on a tv at $649 side by side with the regular sale price also $649
@djdowneygirl / Via tiktok.com

Like, not even a dollar lower:

Black Friday tag and regular tag pricing a tv at $429
@djdowneygirl / Via tiktok.com

And it just keeps happening:

Black Friday tag and regular tag pricing a tv at $329
@djdowneygirl / Via tiktok.com

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.

I got my mom a Coach purse for Christmas last week for $145. They marked it up to almost $200 for Black Friday
@djdowneygirl / Via tiktok.com

Some people spotted retailers raising prices before Black Friday in an attempt to pass off the regular price as a sale.

I see a lot of companies raise their prices just to lower it to the original price and say it's a sale
@djdowneygirl / Via tiktok.com

And it's happening online, too.

I had some shampoo in my cart on Amazon. 5 days ago it was $17, originally $35. For black friday, it went to $23
@djdowneygirl / Via tiktok.com

And people expressed their frustration about how Black Friday in general just isn't what it once was.

black friday deals used to be so good. now I don't even bother. even online they raise the price to "drop it"
@djdowneygirl / Via tiktok.com

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."

young woman checking her smartphone while out christmas shopping
Oscar Wong / Getty Images

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."

Black Friday signs inside a Target store
Samuel Corum / AFP via Getty Images

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."

store window sign advertising black friday event 50% off
Anadolu / Anadolu via Getty Images

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."

woman shopping on her laptop
Xavier Lorenzo / Getty Images

Now I'm curious: How do you tell if you're getting a good deal? Let's talk about it in the comments.