Up For Debate - Black Friday Deals Really Aren't as Good as They're Made Out to be

Written by Jon Sutton on Thu, Nov 23, 2017 12:49 PM

Black Friday was once a day, now an entire month, of the sweetest consumer bargains in the world. Or, that’s what the marketing machine wants you to believe. The actual result is anything but. We get the same lukewarm deals trotted out year after year. An endless stream of crap Amazon Fire tablets, out of date tellies and 50% off GTA 5.

Our automatic impulse is that Black Friday has some insane deals. The latest AAA game for a dollar, a bargain-priced graphics card or a half-priced Xbox One X. Sometimes, just sometimes, these deals do actually exist, but stock is usually so minuscule that it’s only purpose is drive articles and clicks through to its store, rather than allow customers to actually get a great deal. Their trick is to spoon feed out these attention-grabbing deals, spurring customer interest. If you want to come out on top on Black Friday you need to be quick, analytical and have plenty of time to dedicate to it.

It’s still enough to kick some folks into a frenzy though, and I suspect footage will be flying around the net tomorrow of the latest stampede or supermarket brawl as shoppers desperately fight over a crap TV with a steep discount. These loss leaders are few and far between, and anything of genuine quality usually holds its price fairly well, for the most part. In fact, a study by Which? here in the UK revealed that 60% of last year’s Black Friday deals weren’t actually the cheapest price those products had been that year. By that logic, the majority of Black Friday ‘deals’ aren’t deals at all, but cheap cash-ins playing on the consumer logic that Black Friday is full of bargains.

At its very best, Black Friday can net you a great deal. At its norm, it encourages most to spend more than they should. At its worst, gamers (and consumers in general) aren’t getting great deals at all. It’s a trick that taps into our innate desire for consumption, driven by countless marketing dollars. It’s gone beyond logic, to the point where a lot of us feel like we haven’t done Black Friday right unless we’ve bought something, anything. It goes without saying, but spending isn’t saving money.

The nearest we can get to a foolproof approach to Black Friday is to know exactly what we want before the big day arrives, and know exactly how much it normally costs, both full price and discounted. If it’s something we previously know we want, we can be (more) sure that it’s a wise purchase. I’m a hypocrite on this front though, all too easily swayed by those Black Friday banner ads that I hope holds the ticket to a £300 GTX 1080.

Is Black Friday nothing more than a marketing trick to part us from our hard earned money? Or have you picked up some genuine bargains over the years? Let us know!

Are you impressed by Black Friday deals?

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14:32 Nov-24-2017

Black friday is pointless when trying to buy ram! I truly hate Apple and their iphones, I just wanted to build my new pc without going broke!

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21:55 Nov-25-2017

Yeah, because it's apples fault... totally NOT the Chinese phones with 6-8GB ram... or the laptops and tablets with 16GB to 32GB in laptops RAM and 6GB to 8GB in tablets...

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12:52 Nov-24-2017

Steam had some good deals...

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00:34 Nov-24-2017

I rarely spend much time or money on Black Friday. I usually have one thing that I know I want and if it's on sale for a good price I'll get it. I picked up a 6600k for a build for a friend last Black Friday for about $160 pre-tax, but the rest of the components we bought that day honestly only had mediocre discounts. The only think I'd get this time would be a Switch if it went on sale but I'm doubting that'll happen so I'm probably not getting anything. Maybe a slow-cooker (bachelor-who-can't-cook life) but that'll probably be it.

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20:51 Nov-23-2017

Nowadays the deals you get on Black Friday is about the same as the ones you get on Christmas and every other holiday.

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20:22 Nov-23-2017

I got Hollow Knight for $11, and also picked up a few titles like The Binding of Isaac which I'd put off for too long. Personally I feel most BF deals aren't that great, but you can do nicely if you purchase just a few choice items.

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17:46 Nov-23-2017

GameStop was selling the Xbox 360 for free or $59.99 - $59.00 with mail-in rebate = $0. Therefore, you only pay tax & you get free shipping.

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16:24 Nov-23-2017

Hahaha , i disagree, imagine if black Friday wasn't existed? then what? We have to be happy that at least we have games and other stuffs cheaper. I will buy the Need For Speed 2015 for 10 euros.

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16:17 Nov-23-2017

As the author said, it's not all bad, but most of it is not a great deal. I just picked up a PS4 at a $100 discount. I think that is a great deal but these kinds of deals are few and far between.

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15:08 Nov-23-2017

I don't get the obsession about black friday deals,
when I need something for a good price, I haggle the price, buy used stuff etc..

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15:52 Nov-23-2017

You live in a good country for second hand stuff, in my country people think that the value of something is at worst half after a decade of use and usually they charge 66-75% of the price for a long-time used object... they are insane and have no idea how the second hand market works, especially with hardware.


A couple weeks ago I stumbled over some dude that was selling a gtx 760 for 150 euro in 2017, because the person got it for 250 euro in 2013 and then complains that nobody is buying it...

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17:28 Nov-23-2017

Are you from Balkan? haha

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17:40 Nov-23-2017

Correct, Bulgaria(Sh*taria).

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08:04 Nov-24-2017

Bosnia here .. even ****tier, believe me haha People sell ancient gpus like HD 5870 1GB for 65-70 euro .. and for that money you can buy something like HD 7950 3GB in USA (Still supported and DX12) .. 3rd world countries man ..

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12:59 Nov-25-2017

that's not essentially a problem, if everyone sets a certain level of value drop, then it doesn't matter what the absolute price is,
66-75% is reasonable if it's still covered by warranty (so usually 2-3 years old max)

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14:27 Nov-23-2017

800$ off a new desktop and 30% a mouse and keyboard combo :) Shan't complain too much.

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13:56 Nov-23-2017

I don't really feel like risking my life to get $20 discount off of a $2,000 TV. Unfortunately, I have to work on black friday at a computer hardware and electronics store. It's going to be a long day. I'm sure the traffic isn't going to be fun either.

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13:11 Nov-23-2017

(Didn't read the entire article)
Of course they aren't, 1-2 weeks prior they rise the prices, so that when black friday comes they lower them artificially(pretend to lower them), but what they do is essentially bring them back to their original price. Of course it does NOT work for games for example as we know their price to begin with.

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15:34 Nov-23-2017

Well,usually I know what I'm looking for on Black Friday so i always keep an eye on them at least one month before balck friday.In most cases it's just a scam this BF,but if you are informed and know what you're looking for you can actually get some great deals.

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15:53 Nov-23-2017

Absolutely! but sadly they are quite few and far between.

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13:08 Nov-23-2017

I noticed, particularly this year, that nothing I actually wanted was very much off at all. For example I wanted a new X1 controller and not a single place I looked had any discount on it.

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13:11 Nov-23-2017

Even games aren't getting that good deals, like before on black friday unless a game came out literally that week, it would always have some kind of deal, even if it was just 5 or 10%. This year any games younger than 2 months had none.

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13:49 Nov-23-2017

AC Origins has a 40% off sale on steam...

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18:10 Nov-23-2017

its a 17% discount bro

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