Commerce Commission fires warning at NZ businesses over Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales

With some of the biggest sale days of the year — Black Friday and Cyber Monday — coming up, the Commerce Commission is urging retailers to be honest so shoppers get the deals they are promised. 

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Marketing lecturer Jessica Vredenburg shares her wisdom on the two days that celebrate capitalism. Source: Seven Sharp

“We’re reminding retailers to make sure that advertised savings are genuine savings, and we’re reminding consumers to do their research, shop around, and check to make sure that they get the deal they think they are getting,” Commerce Commission chair Anna Rawlings said. 

“For example, if a business claims a price is 50 per cent off, then their customers should save 50 per cent off the usual selling price. 

“Businesses should not bump up prices ahead of a sale in order to claim a bigger discount at sale time.”

Rawlings said fine print shouldn’t be used to hide important information, or change the meaning of a headline offer.

“Consumers should do some price comparison research. Get an idea of the price you could usually expect to pay for an item and then satisfy yourself that the saving you are offered is a real saving.

“Ultimately, ask yourself whether the price you are asked to pay looks like good value to you, regardless of whether it is discounted or on sale.”

AUT marketing lecturer Jessica Vredenburg told TVNZ1’s Seven Sharp yesterday retailers often use tactics like limiting quantities of items, or the time of the sales, to prompt a reaction from the brain. 

While “you can definitely get great deals in Black Friday sales”, there are some things shoppers needed to keep in mind, Vredenburg said.

She advised shoppers to do their research beforehand so they can see if sales prices on Black Friday are genuine deals.

“If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Kiwis spent more than $650 million over three days around Black Friday last year.