by Muhammad Inam Ul Haq

The promotions, already widespread for ten days, are multiplying on this first “official” day of Black Friday. There are some simple reflexes to make the most of it.

A new smartphone, stoves, or a robot vacuum cleaner. The inspirations can be numerous this December 4, as the leading online shopping sites launch their Black Friday. Unfortunately, the proliferation of discounts sometimes hides false good deals. There are, however, very accessible tools, which, coupled with good reflexes, allow you to make no mistakes.

Tip number 1: check the crossed-out prices

For traders, attracting the customer often involves posting the most considerable percentage reduction possible. To artificially inflate this figure, some take the bad habit of posting higher “reference” prices than what is usually practiced.

A few searches on the Web are often enough to realize the integrity of this reduction. The most effective solution is usually to go to the product manufacturer’s site to verify its correct price.

For example, the Ubaldi e-commerce site displays an “introductory” price for Apple’s iPhone 11 of 809 dollars, against a promotion of 689 dollars, or an (apparent) discount of 14%. Just go to the Apple site to see that the iPhone 11, released at the end of 2019, has already been offered at 689 dollars by the brand itself for several weeks.

Tip number 2: follow the evolution of prices

To be sure of buying at the best price, the best way is to view its history. Several tools are available, in particular through price comparators. Thus, the Idealo site offers a price curve over three months, six months, or one year.

Another top-rated site, Dealabs, relies on a community of users to spot “real” good deals. The offers are submitted to Internet users’ vote to move them up or down in the ranking. A good discount is often highlighted on the platform.

For Amazon fans, the most effective tool is called Keepa. This is an extension available for all browsers, displaying the price trend curve for the e-commerce giant. At a glance, it is possible to verify the relevance of a stated price.

Note that it is also possible to copy a product page’s address to access this information if you do not want to install the extension. Several curves are available, reflecting the prices charged by Amazon, by third-party sellers, or the prices of second-hand products.

Tip number 3: look at other criteria

Buying on the Internet is sometimes like purchasing a product delivered from the other side of the planet. As such, the price should not be the only criterion retained. On many sites like Amazon, a large part of the offers come from third-party sellers.

While the law requires any seller to accept returns, a product delivered from China will require the buyer to pay particularly onerous return costs in the event of a change of mind.

Before making your choice, it is therefore essential to check the nature of the seller, its location, the return conditions, and the costs and shipping times. It is investing a few extra dollars in having it delivered to be more profitable and more ecological.

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