6 Misleading Advertising Ploys To Beware Of This Black Friday

Black Friday Misleading Advertising

posted November 2, 2021 in Blogs

Here at Greater Iowa Credit Union, we hate seeing your money go to waste, so we’ve put together a list of misleading advertising you may encounter when hunting for deals this Black Friday.

1. Very limited quantities

That $200-off supersized TV on the front page of the big-box circular that landed in your mailbox looks like an incredible deal-until you show up at the store on Black Friday and find it’s sold out. Of course, no deal lasts forever, but when a store that’s only been open for the day a few hours, claims it has run out of an item, you can assume it only stocked a limited quantity.

When checking out the ads for Black Friday, look for an “In-Stock Guarantee” or a “1-hour In-Stock Guarantee.” This will allow you to get a rain check for a sold-out item as long as you show up on Black Friday, or in the case of the 1-hour guarantee, as long as you show up within the first hour of opening.

2. No discount

This one is a bit harder to spot, but it’s no fun when it happens to you.

In this ploy, retailers deceive shoppers into thinking a product is on sale. They’ll list an item in a Black Friday circular so you’ll assume it is being offered at a discount when it’s actually being sold at regular price. Do a quick check of an item’s standard selling price before running out to buy it on Black Friday.

3. Full price with a store gift card

At first glance, a regular-priced item that comes with a store gift card can seem like a fantastic deal; however, some research might reveal this product is being sold elsewhere on Black Friday for less. Also, if you’re not a regular customer at this store, you may end up blowing that gift card on stuff you don’t need.

While gift card deals may be a great way to save on your purchases, think twice before rushing to grab a “with gift card” item on Black Friday.

4. Sales based on a dishonest manufacturer’s price

When retailers advertise their sales, they’ll often post the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP, for customers to compare. However, this value can be theoretical at best and simply dishonest at worst. If the item was never actually sold at the listed MSRP, the number is essentially meaningless.

Kohl’s was actually sued for claiming items were being sold at discounted prices when they were never offered at a higher price to begin with. The retailer has since discontinued this practice, but many other stores continue to advertise inflated or irrelevant MSRPs along with their sale prices.

Avoid getting pulled in by this deceptive advertising ploy by checking out an item’s retail price online.

5. Stripped-down or downgraded versions

When shopping for computers and TVs, read up on every feature offered with the product. A common Black Friday ruse is to advertise a discounted item, which offers the very minimum in features and accessories. These “add-ons” are often essential features whose lack can make the device almost useless until you buy them.

You deserve to find fantastic deals this Black Friday. Look out for these deceptive advertising techniques so that you only walk away with actual bargains.