Black Friday and Cyber Monday in Spain

This year Black Friday falls on 23 November and Cyber Monday on 26 November. As stores embrace any opportunity to launch promos to customers, is it really worth waiting? Check our tips to find out.

What is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

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 it was noticed that there was a substantial increase in online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving, hence marketers took the opportunity to offer special promotions to try to increase sales even more. US shoppers have come to expect major discounts on these two days and Spanish stores decided to copy the idea.

In the US they studied the different demographics of the two days to target offers accordingly. Black Friday shoppers tend to be older, less internet savvy and often pay in cash. Cyber Monday shoppers are younger, more affluent, use credit cards and often don’t have a lot of time (or patience) for shopping.

What About Singles Day?

A relative newcomer, Singles Day falls on 11 Nov this year and hopes to take away many sales from Black Friday.

What Bargains Can You Expect to Find?

It’s not easy to know exactly what items will be included in store promos, as companies don’t want to risk people waiting all November to make their purchases.

Sign up for newsletters and follow stores on Facebook. Many promos will only be announced on Thursday evening (for Black Friday) or on Sunday (for Cyber Monday). As competition increases, some stores may launch their promos earlier.

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 Black Friday. You could try asking in store one or two days beforehand whether a particular item will be included in their Black Friday promo (although you might not get an answer!).

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. Check again in mid Nov 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 something.

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.

Results in 2016 showed only 13% of prices were actually lower on Black Friday and 2% were higher. Last year 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 results 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.

As well as stores in Spain, from mid November check out The Black Friday – Spain’s “one stop Cyber Monday website”.


Related post: Sales in Spain – Know Your Consumer Rights

Black Friday