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Dirty Secrets of Black Friday ‘Doorbusters’

Dirty Secrets of Black Friday

This article explains how shoppers should beware of the “good” deals they expect to find on Black Friday. It explains how the fine print in the businesses circulars says something like “while supplies last”, “minimum 2 per store”. “all items are available in limited quantities”, or “no rain checks”. The author explains that large businesses like Sears are offering deals this year like 599.99 for a TV. The catch is the quantity per store is only 3! He goes to say “Sure , you probably have more, but how do you put out a circular to millions of households and only have three?,” Not only this but stores also advertise “derivative” items. Customers think they are getting a deal only to find that they have bought the model that has far “fewer features than the standard.”

It seems like the stores are trying to ‘pull one over” on their customers, a very unethical business practice. Businesses advertise their door buster deals in circulars and papers to customers that in reality aren’t what they seems. People get up in the earliest hours of the morning expecting to get a good deal only to wish they had read the very fine print. People expect to rush in the store when it opens and get the best deals for being the first in line, only to find that the “minimum” of “2 per store” is already gone. This rush leads to stampedes like last year when an employee of Wal-Mart was killed from the shoppers rushing in to get “limited quantity” items. businesses should be straight forward about their deals, not hide information in fine print and deceive customers.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. kmcowles
    November 24, 2009 at 1:35 am

    While it might seem slightly unfair and immoral that stores put up ads like this, the point is that they are using the means of advertising that is common in ALL of American media. People always tend to take store’s ads at face value and never investigate them. While some stores do advertise with a lot of hidden facts, the point is that if they put it in fine print, they are still telling the customer. If a customer chooses to wake up at 2 AM to stand in front of a store for three hours without reseraching properlly, then it is their fault, not the fault of the store. I think the negligence is more on the part of the customer than the store.

    • Dave
      November 26, 2010 at 10:58 pm

      Attitudes like the one expressed here are exactly the cause of social decay in our country. This “buyer beware” social policy leaves allows these companies to blatantly deceive customers and leaves the consumer feeling helplessly taken advantage of. There was a time in our history where honor played a role in shaping our society, including business transactions. Sadly, that time has passed. The above poster suggests that it is solely the responsibility of the consumer to not “take theses ads a face value” and that these businesses are simply using ad techniques which are “common in American media. While both of these statements are true, these arguments completely disregard any presence or expectation of morality. I would suggest that it is the total lack of the latter (expectation) which has created the the complete lack of the former (presence) of morality in American companies. If American consumers expected better treatment from these companies and refused to do business with less than honorable businesses, these businesses and corporation would have no choice but to conform. Unfortunately, we Americans have the attention span of a garden slug. When we find ourselves the victim of wrongdoing, we simply road rage on the way home, yell at a couple of clouds, vent to a spouse or loved one and then return to the same store next week because their advertised price on that new DVD player is $4.59 lower than the competition.

  2. mjmolner
    November 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I still think that there is great deals on Black Friday. Sure some stores will still try to make money and sneak one by the customer, but the stores still run great sales. People see how much something is with out looking into the sale and just buying it without thinking if it was really worth it. With the limited number of products hopefully there will be no body killing anyone for a certain product. If someone wants to get up at 2 in the morning to get that first one then they deserve it.

  3. stgoff
    November 29, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I feel that the Black Friday ads border along unethical business practices. However, the fine print – no matter how fine it is- still lists the provisions that apply. I don’t feel that retailers should limit their ads to such small quantities. The retailers use the door busters to get the consumer in the door; therefore, they should allow for more quantities on the door busters because the consumer will spend more while in the store. On the other hand, the consumers should be help responsible for their behavior no matter how limited the quantities on the door busters. Placing blame on the retailer for how consumers act is irresponsible.

  4. courtnei86
    December 3, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    You can still get good deals on black friday. The stores use the really good deals that are asvertised in the paper with hidden catches to get people in the store. Maybe someone see an ad and decides to go get that item only to find that the store is all sold out. At that point many people will still shope around and end up buying another item at a good deal. The point of the deals that are too good to be true are done to get customers in the store for the other sales goin on. Yes it is sneaky but if a customer really is concerned that there is a catch then they should read the fine print. Of course the company could have made the catch alittle more obvious but then there attempt to get customers into the store would be less effective.

  5. yulianap
    December 4, 2009 at 2:14 am

    The “midnight madness” is always fascinating. Of course, every person has different perceptions, and so some people read the smaller print letters, yet some would go and grab whatever they can just because it is on sale. Nowadays, people are aware of how deceiving ads can be but the majority would still be tempted to believe them.

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