The famous Black Friday sale has already happened on November 25th. This is a tradition that came to Poland along with other European regions around 2013 from the USA, but not all Polish stores act with customers according to the same rules as American ones. Often, the announced discounts are purely symbolic. It is also a popular opinion among customers that stores increase the prices on purpose to then make a “discount” so that they feel they buy products cheaper, though they might be even paying more than could pay before Black Friday.
Moreover, statistics show that sellers do manipulate buyers. According to the research conducted by Deloitte, in 2021, discounts in “800 surveyed Polish stores averaged 3.6%. Almost 57% of the stores did not prepare any special offers for visitors. In rare cases, discounts reached 5%” (Podczas Tegorocznego Black Friday Średnie Obniżki Cen Sięgnęły 3,4 Proc., 2021). Meaning that the screaming all-around SALE and discounts -70% signs are mock. At the same time, an increase in prices for a third of the studied goods was revealed. The largest discount that was recorded was 36%, although the marketing messages were talking about 70% for buyers.
Buyers themselves seem to feel that stores often treat them dishonestly – according to statistics, interest in Black Friday is falling from year to year. According to the Picodi service, in 2021, “31% of Polish residents expressed their desire to participate in the sale, while a year earlier there were 40% who wanted to participate in the sale” (Black Friday (Czarny Piątek) – Picodi Polska, 2022). Therefore, revealing a great deal of interest fall toward the hoax yearly sales.
As mentioned before, it seems like a common practice in retail to raise prices for goods a few days before Black Friday and then “lower” them on the day of discounts. For example, a tech store can raise the price of a fridge from 2 000 zl to 4 000 zl on Tuesday and lower it to PLN 3 000 on Friday. This will provide a banner showing the “Big discount” of 1 000 zl. The Polish authorities, however, promise to take care of this loophole soon. In Europe, there is a special Omnibus directive that obliges sellers to inform about the prices of goods. It was developed to prevent fraud and also to prevent the purchase of customer reviews. And although it has not yet entered into force in Poland, some stores have been adhering to it for a long time now.
When the directive comes into force, according to research by Sebastian Gorski, shop owners who deceive their customers will face a fine of PLN 20,000. Panstwowa Inspekcja Handlowa will monitor compliance with the terms of the directive. If it turns out that the price of a promotional item has been different in the last 30 days, then the store owner will be in trouble (Górski, 2022).
All in all, I recommend that you refrain from impulsive purchases on Black Friday, and before making a decision to buy a product, check whether it is really participating in the promotion. You can use services like ceneo.pl, skapiec.pl and nokaut.pl, which help you get an idea of how the price of a product has formed in recent months.
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Black Friday (Czarny Piątek) 2022 – Picodi Polska. (2022). Inspiracje. https://www.picodi.com/pl/inspiracje/black-friday
Podczas tegorocznego Black Friday średnie obniżki cen sięgnęły 3,4 proc. (2021, February 9). Deloitte Polska. https://www2.deloitte.com/pl/pl/pages/press-releases/articles/podczas-tegorocznego-Black-Friday-srednie-obnizki-cen-siegnely-3-proc.html
Górski, S. (2022, November 25). To ostatni taki Black Friday. Za rok sklepy nie będą mogły ściemniać z promocjami. CHIP – Technologie Mamy We Krwi! https://www.chip.pl/2022/11/to-ostatni-taki-black-friday-dyrektywa-omnibus