Black Friday has traditionally been one of the United States’ biggest shopping days – attracting crowds of customers to the heavily discounted products and marking the official start of the Christmas shopping season.
While the tradition claims stateside origins, in recent years this consumer craze has found its way across the Atlantic, with major online retailers and supermarkets alike offering gadgets and gift ideas at steep discounts. Previous Black Friday events here in the UK have been hugely successful for retailers, and it has been predicted that this year’s spending will break the £1bn barrier.
Not only that, but a survey by The Independent shows that almost a fifth of customers expect to save 50% on prices – with a further 9% expecting as much as 60% off!
When retailers are keen to flog their wares using such huge reductions, naturally you’d expect to get some must-have items. But over the years we’ve seen some very surprising stock go up for grabs – here’s our pick of the bunch.
With Halloween having been over for a month by the time we get to Black Friday, you may find some retailers trying to sneak in their surplus costume stock – even if it’s actually a useful product for others. That’s certainly the case for one online retailer who happens to sell the kind of yellow chemical coveralls most notably modelled by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in the cult TV series Breaking Bad. One look at the customer reviews says it all – for every one commenter who’s remarked on how they can save money stocking up on required workwear, ten more are celebrating the success of a hit Halloween costume.
Phones before they got smart
When the late, great Steve Jobs announced Apple’s first iPhone in January 2007, retailers did all they could to get on board with the smartphone revolution. The only problem was that they had a lot of other phones to sell. Mobile phones which had previously been considered top of the line instantly became top of the scrapheap. So when Black Friday came around that November, retailers did all they could to clear the lanes – that’s why prices of the likes of the previously peppy LG Chocolate were suddenly slashed according to one consumer blog.
A home for the holidays
We may be becoming used to the traditional Black Friday rush when it comes to consumer gadgets, but one American estate agent took extreme measures to close the deal for their customers. According to USA Today, the agency offered $500 off the cost of arranging a home loan – basically a discount on your mortgage. While we can’t imagine customers took to the offer with the same fervour as they did for their kids’ Christmas presents, it’s still an interesting way to raise awareness and perhaps peddle some PR by offering discounts on major transactions like buying a house. But we’ve got to admit that $500 off a mortgage hardly measures up to the rates of discount you’d expect on a new laptop or TV.
One thing we’ve learned from the annual obstacle course that is Black Friday is that you should always keep an eye out for a bargain – you never know where you might find that special something to buy for a loved one, or even for yourself.