Black Friday and Cyber Monday - catch the bargain but don't get caught in the trap

20 Nov 2019 11:59|

You can get high-quality goods on sale for half the price, and sometimes even with 80% discount - true or false? The paradox is that no matter what your answer is, both versions are correct.

It is better not to follow the discount price scale, but the real value of goods. It is worth remembering, especially when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

On November 11th, Chinese trading platforms tempted with gigantic sales. Did you miss it? That's okay. At the turn of November and December, you can enjoy shopping with discounts again. Merchants make sure that we all know what's coming. For several weeks now, advertisement campaigns have been attacking everyone. Is shopping heaven really open for us?

Not so long ago in America…

Several fatalities and more than 100 injuries - this is not a report from a train crash, but the data for the last ten years regarding a customer race for Black Friday products in the USA. This tradition was born in the United States, and today it is used by traders and consumers all over the world. What is the origin of this tradition?

Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, the Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Importantly, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the lavish Christmas parades were sponsored by well-known and large department stores, which tried to recover some of the money they had invested by attracting people to their shops and stalls.

In the middle of the last century, the day just after Thanksgiving Day became unofficial but already a quite common day characterised by extraordinary promotions and sales throughout the United States and the beginning of shopping fever associated with buying Christmas gifts.

Both sides of the deal could benefit from that situation. People would buy goods at much lower prices, and sellers would enjoy increased sales and empty warehouses. Unfortunately, it often happened that amazing discounts awakened the worst impulses of customers. When queues were formed in front of shopping malls, there were many accidents when opening doors.

Nevertheless, Europeans quickly became jealous of the US commercial holidays. Europe has also incorporated the custom that follows Thanksgiving Day in the USA.

Commercial madness is not limited to one day. Even if the culmination of discounts and advertising campaigns every year focuses on Black Friday, there is often a whole weekend or even a week of sales. This is due, among other things, to the fact that deals from stationery stores have moved mainly into cyberspace. Online shops attempted, or are still trying, to launch their own sales day - Cyber Monday, which is the first Monday after Black Friday.

Difference between great discount and occasion

A 50-70% discount can spark your imagination and make you lose your common sense by letting you get caught up in the trap. What is behind the scenes?

Let's assume that you're going to buy a new TV set worth about 1-2 thousand EUR. Since it's not about the basic need, you can wait a few months, hoping that on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you will save some money. And such opportunities do happen. However, things can be different...

"Sellers set discount traps to attract as much interest as possible. It may happen, for example, that the price is increased in the first place so that the discounts expressed in percentages look more spectacular. It is worth to realise this, especially before the period of intensified sales," explains Bartosz Grejner, Conotoxia Analyst.

How not to get caught in a trap? A cool head and a moment of reflection are needed. "Let us not be fooled by the scale of the price reduction, but rather check how much a given product costs at various merchants, which today in the era of universal access to the Internet should not take much time. Then, it may turn out that a substantial decrease is not a great opportunity at all," explains Conotoxia Analyst.

In the sales world

On Internet forums, there are opinions that on Black Friday profitable bargains can be found in foreign, especially American stores, while domestic traders are more likely to fake sellings than they actually cut prices by several dozen percents. Of course, such a generalisation may seem unfair.

Nevertheless, today, e-shops and e-commerce platforms from different parts of the world allow you to compare who offers the best prices and the largest selection of goods.

There is no doubt that American retail trade is doing great. In the third quarter of this year, the results of Walmart, the largest retail chain in the USA, exceeded the estimates of economists, and also increased the predictions for profit in 2019.

According to statistics regarding Black Friday, Americans spend more and more money every year. In 2007, it was a total of 34.6 billion USD, and 10 years later, 58.3 billion USD.

High sales and excessive profits may encourage US traders to make more extensive promotional efforts. From a European customer's point of view, shopping in the USA is not complicated at all. The American giant -, tempts the Europeans not only on Black Friday.

Making the right choice is more comfortable not only thanks to standard photos but also quite detailed product descriptions. In many cases, you can also rely on short films and other buyers' reviews. If that is not enough, there is also an option to ask specific questions to merchants offering goods available at

The first purchases must be preceded by registration and every next one by the logging in to the created account. The procedure is not complicated. Just in case, there are step-by-step tutorials available on the Internet that guide you through the registration process. What is important, an account created in an American shop is also used to make purchases in a German or British branch of Amazon.

The shopping process at is no different from most online shops. Selected products are put into a virtual shopping cart (Add to Cart), then you have to go to the checkout (Proceed to checkout), where you fill in a form with the customer's data. In the next step, the delivery form is chosen - from the cheapest and that last the longest (up to 32 working days) to the express ones and at the same time the most expensive. The final stage of the process is the choice of payment method. After that, there is only the end (Place your order) and waiting for the order.

Pay as you like, but be careful how you pay

Buying and shipping products from sellers outside the European Union may result in additional costs. However, shipments of less than 150 EUR are not subject to customs duty.

When ordering more expensive items, you have to take into account the fact that customs officers will open the package, then you will have to pay an additional 3-8% of the duty rate.

The general rule is that it is more profitable for the customer to use the seller's currency, and the customer selects its purchase method. Otherwise, the buyer may lose money if they have an unfavourable currency conversion and if banks charge commission. Therefore, before shopping in foreign shops on Black Friday, it is worth to use the services of the online currency exchange.

Please note!

Read the Terms and Conditions of the online currency exchange. Some services, by highlighting their allegedly favourable exchange rates, add commission to each transaction. Of course, they also inform you about it, but it is hidden deeply in the Terms and Conditions. does not surprise customers with such additional costs - currency exchanges without additional fees and the amount you want to exchange can be easily calculated on

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