Every year, consumers go bananas over Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Millions of people flock to stores or log on their computers and buy stuff they never thought of purchasing, but absolutely had to jump on the opportunity of buying a loved one a $100 gift for $20. Guess what…you got duped.
For the most part, sales are one giant scam. Whether it’s during the holiday season or what seems to be a random markdown on items, sales are never what they appear to be. At the end of the day, businesses are here to make money and no one is making very much money offering items at an 80 percent discount.
Brick-and-mortar stores will sometimes offer decent deals knowing that many of you will impulse buy other non-discounted items (perhaps even marked up) while you are there. The money they make off the impulse buys offsets any profits lost on the sale.
But online shopping is a little different. You don’t have to go through aisles to get to the item you’re looking for, making you susceptible to the “Oh! I need that too!” phenomenon the retailers are banking on. So what’s the scam businesses like Amazon rely on?
Using TheTracktor.com to compare prices before Nov. 24, let’s take a look at some Cyber Monday sales on Amazon.com and see what kind of deals we are really getting.
KLIQ MetroPitch – From $49.99 to $24.95 (49% discount)
The above product was on Amazon’s Cyber Monday homepage. At nearly half off, it’s the perfect gift for the musician in your family. Often times, we know nothing about the stuff we are buying for other people, so $25 for a $50 item seems like the way to go. However:
This item never fetched for $49.99. In fact, its highest price was $35, and that lasted about a month before it plummeted to $27 and eventually to $25 where it has remained since April. You could have cashed in on the Cyber Monday deal for the past seven months that is actually only a 29 percent discount.
Alpine Swiss Men’s Wallet Leather Money Clip – From $35 to $11.99 (66% discount)
A money clip for $35. Hmmmmm…seems like a lot of money for a money clip. But, hey! At a two-thirds discount, how can you pass this up? Here’s why:
The Cyber Monday price is the original price back in July 2014. From then until April 2016, this money clip either hovered at $11.99 or dropped as low as $10, below the huge deal you’re getting. Magically, the price skyrocketed to its high of $15 in May, still more than half of the listed price. The Cyber Monday price has been available since September. Considering the historical price, this item is being sold at 0 percent discount.
Samsung Wireless Charging Pad – From $49.99 to $19.99 (60% discount)
Another hot item that was featured on Amazon’s Cyber Monday homepage. Charging stations can cost a lot, especially for Apple products. So when we see that we can get a $50 charging station for less than $20, add to cart. You probably know where this is going:
Prices for this item has been all over the place since April. It reached as low as $18.87 in May and as high as $29.46 in August, more than $20 less than the list price the Cyber Monday deal is based on. To be fair, the price did drop during Black Friday weekend, but from $27.53 and the current deal of $19.99 could have been captured in the first half of August. Adjusted to the actual high price, this Cyber Monday deal is a 32 percent discount, not 60 percent.
Alpine Swiss Jake Mens Wool Pea Coat Double Breasted Jacket – From $185 to $39.99
By now, you certainly get the point, but here’s one more for you. Saving the best for last, this pea coat is listed at nearly $200 but can be yours for $40! I have fallen victim to this kind of scam before. After all, who doesn’t want a $200? Since I cannot afford one, a deal like this will get me every time. Bad news: You still don’t own a $200 jacket:
You own a $50 jacket. In fact, that jacket has never not been $50 until the holiday season. With that said, Amazon did dramatically drop the price for Cyber Monday to $39.99, but only from $50. With that said, you’re saving $10 on a $50 jacket, not nearly $150 on a $200 jacket. Bummer.
Good deals still exist
Have to credit where credit is due: Amazon’s own products (e.g. Kindle Fire, Echo, etc.) are marked down from the listed price which is legit. For example, the $33.33 price of the Kindle Fire 7” display is in fact a 33 percent discount from the original $49.99, which Amazon has been asking for up until the holiday season. Most of Amazon’s products follow this pattern. However, don’t expect a huge 50 percent or more discount.
Amazon products are not the only items with legit deals, but you have to do your research to discover them. Go to TheTracktor.com and insert the URL of the Amazon product and compare the historical data to the Cyber Monday price.
Sales are all psychological. If we think we’re getting a $200 for $40, we will decide we want that item even though having that item never crossed our minds before. It’s the idea that we can own something outside our budget that drives us. Sorry folks, but many of those items have always been within our budget. Do some research and don’t get conned.