Singles Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019

Singles Day falls on 11 Nov every year and in 2019 Black Friday falls on 29 Nov and Cyber Monday on 2 Dec. As stores embrace any opportunity to launch promos to customers, is it really worth waiting? Check our tips to find out.

What is Singles Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

All three are traditions from other countries that have been integrated into the Spanish retail experience, both online and in stores.

Singles Day started as an “anti-Valentine’s” day in China held on 11/11 (lots of ones, or singles!). Taken up by Chinese retail giant Alibaba, sales on this day have risen year-on-year, often overtaking Black Friday sales.

Black Friday is the name given to the Friday after Thanksgiving that traditionally heralded the start of the Christmas shopping spree in stores in the United States.

Cyber Monday is the Monday immediately after Black Friday. The term was introduced in 2005 when retailers experienced a substantial increase in online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

What Bargains Can You Expect to Find?

It’s not easy to know exactly what items will be reduced in price, as retailers don’t want to risk people waiting to make their purchases.

Sign up for newsletters and follow your favourite stores on Facebook. More stores are increasing the number of days when promos are held, often several days or even a full week in the run-up to any of the three dates.

For in-store promotions remember that items with the biggest reductions will probably only be available in limited numbers (and sizes/colours if we’re talking about clothes and footwear). The aim is to get customers through the door hoping they’ll buy something else at full price.

If you want a specific item then arrive at the store at opening time on Singles Day or Black Friday. Always make sure you know what you’re looking for and don’t be swayed by other “bargains” so you end up spending more than you planned.

Inflated Discounts and Other Tricks

Law 7/96 states all discounts in stores must clearly show the previous price together with the reduced price. The previous price must be the lowest price at which the item has been sold during the last 30 days.

Unfortunately many stores totally ignore this law. Official checks are few and far between and fines even less common. Some inflate prices for a month to get around the law.

For high value items such as electronics or home appliances, it’s a good idea to check the price of an item you’re interested in purchasing at the beginning of Nov. and then recheck regularly to see whether the price rises. You’ll then be better placed to know whether a store is going to display an inflated discount.

Another trick is that stores strictly limit the number of units available. Rather than have boxes and boxes of laptops / tablets / etc available, there’ll just be a few and, if you ask, you’ll be told they’ve sold out. Once again the idea is to get you inside with the hope you’ll buy anything just because it looks like a saving.

Consumer Studies From Previous Years

Spanish consumer org. OCU follows over 15,000 prices at major stores during the month running up to Black Friday.

Previous surveys have shown that only 11% of prices were lower, with almost half of prices higher on Black Friday than at their lowest price point during the previous month.

The 2017 study showed Alcampo to have the greatest proportion of items reduced in price, with El Corte Ingles in second place. However every single establishment included in the survey had items with higher prices than a month earlier.

Is it Worth Waiting?

Well, we haven’t got an answer for that. If you’re willing to be flexible on brand and model then you may be able to pick up an item reduced in price.

Related post: Unfair Commercial Practices and How to Spot Them

Black Friday