Black Friday arrives with its waltz of promotions. But if there is one thing to check before each purchase, it is this detail that we see on all e-commerce sites today.
Black Friday, the long-awaited period for its tempting end-of-year promotions, is also the time of scams of all kinds to encourage consumers to buy. And the online sales sites which are already embarking on the operation do not lack imagination in touting their offers. Price reductions are accompanied by ever more impressive percentages, the gap between the prices displayed in promotion and the crossed out prices always suggests significant discounts.
However, we must be vigilant when we want to measure the real savings made and “know how to read labels”. Because the crossed out price, supposed to show the old price or the starting price before the promo, actually corresponds to an amount that almost every online merchant evaluates according to their own method... or according to their own good will! In many cases, we even fall into dubious commercial practices or even outright scams.
As indicated in our guide to crossed out prices during Black Friday, there are details that you should be particularly wary of: these are the words "recommended price", "recommended price" or "comparison price" that we see on more and more e-commerce sites. If you see one of these mentions next to a crossed out price, it is better to check if the promotion is not exaggerated or even completely fake. In this type of case, the crossed out price is presented as "the latest price recommended by the supplier or manufacturer". However, the way in which it was established is not verified or even known and it often happens that this price is higher than on the manufacturer's website itself.
The 2nd generation of Apple's famous headphones, the AirPods 2, is a recurring example. Launched in 2019 at a price of €179 or €229 depending on the charging case, they have since seen their price drop on the Apple Store website, where they are now listed at 149 euros. However, certain "comparison" or "recommended" prices that we were able to consult at the beginning of November showed 159 euros... A way of starting from a high starting price to "inflate" the promotion displayed.
Please note: the “recommended price” notice is not always very visible. Sometimes you have to hover your mouse or cursor over the crossed out price, over a ⓘ symbol or even over a simple asterisk right next to it for it to appear.
The law of May 28, 2022 attempted to regulate these practices by requiring professionals to base their reductions on the lowest price charged in the 30 days preceding the promotion. However, many sites still circumvent this rule thanks to these names which do not always correspond to this definition. On sites specializing in second-hand or reconditioned goods, the mention "new price" is also questionable.
Faced with these practices, consumers are advised to remain vigilant, particularly during Black Friday. Anticipating your purchases by monitoring prices in advance, finding product prices from manufacturers or using price comparison sites can be useful to avoid falling into the trap.