Black Friday: How to detect and avoid “sales” traps for children

Under exceptional consumption conditions such as Black Friday, the cornerstones of one’s own financial education are often threatened with collapse. Amidst the competition for the most blatant forms of saving (mega, hyper, and mega-hyper discounts), children, just like adults, can quickly get lost in the labyrinth of countless Black Friday deals and lose their orientation.

With this inflation of presumed super deals and mega-bargains, not only a cool head but also the ability to weigh up the pros and cons usually falls by the wayside: Would you rather buy now, because otherwise you could miss the supposedly best deal, or would you prefer to postpone it, keep on saving and spend the saved money more consciously later – without any pressure and in a targeted manner?

Not so surprising study results

The increased consumption on Black Friday is not only driven by allegedly fat discounts but is usually also anticipated by studies. This year is no exception.

The payment solution provider Klarna, for example, has launched a corresponding survey. The (almost expected) results:

  • Over More than a third (or 36%) of those questioned want to indulge in consumption on this year’s Black Friday.
  • On average, expenditure of 219 euros is planned for the Black Friday bargains.
  • Shopping online rather than stationary: this applies to 37% of the respondents on Black Friday 2020.
  • For 44% of them, the Super Mega Bargain Day will be used to stock up on Christmas presents.

However, the study by the opinion research institute Civey pays special attention to the relationship between parents and children on the one hand and consumption on Black Friday on the other.

According to the results, almost a quarter of households with children plan to take Black Friday and the following Cyber Monday as a source of inspiration for Christmas presents. This is more than twice as many households compared to those without children (namely 11%).

Black Friday Umfrage

On the other hand, well over half of households with children do not take Black Friday or Cyber Monday as an opportunity to fill up their stock of presents under the Christmas tree.

The thing about fake pricing

When retailers generously cut back on sales prices on occasions such as Black Friday, consumers should not pull out their wallets in gratitude for the supposedly unique bargain and not let it slip through their fingers.

It is not uncommon for retailers to set a recommended retail price (RRP) extra high, only to then drastically and supposedly cut it down to the normal price – usually to the normal price – without any consideration for their own losses. Why we are talking about these prices here is something we cannot answer at this point. Maybe because they are incredibly high, or maybe because the allegedly generous discounts can be as deceptive as some man-in-the-moon phenomena.

Children as a customer group on Black Friday

Children are an attractive customer group in the focus of the trade. They are addressed with special offers and some retailers even have special kids deals that many youngsters can hardly resist. This is not only true on Black Friday itself, but sometimes even a whole week before.

For parents, this bargain scavenger hunt often raises the question of how much profit is really in each deal and how much saving is actually in individual discounts. After all, not every discount deserves its name.

So how can parents and children work together to find a way through the thicket of Black Friday deals to decide together on an offer, on saving or possibly on both at the same time?

Clear consumption rate even with supposed temptations

Of course, children have little to do with complex concepts such as consumer traps or price comparison portals –  and they do not need to.

It is much more important that parents first take up the impulse to buy together with their children and send them on a short break. Because this space is necessary to discuss and understand why children want a certain toy, game, book, etc. right now.

1. Show alternatives to buying

On Black Friday, too, a kind of inventory should first be taken: which toys does the child already have? Does a friend of your child have the desired toy, doesn’t need it anymore and wants to exchange it for another one? Can other, older toys be “pimped” so that they receive a completely different, new appeal? If your child decides not to buy a new toy, you should always explain to him or her how much he or she has saved by not buying one and what he or she has ultimately gained by doing so, for example, an exciting afternoon of swapping games with friends, a journey of discovery in your own toy box or through the “free to give away” advertisements or a handicraft lesson with Mum and Dad.

2. Compare prices – take your time

If your child has set himself a certain savings goal and this now appears as a Black Friday deal, there is of course nothing in principle against securing such a bargain. However, it is always worth taking a closer look at it and of course comparing. Take enough time for this together with your child. Keep a record of the different prices together with your child. Note down (or have your child draw) where you found what and when at what price. Of course, you can also make an exciting discovery video.

All this can be done during a joint trip to different shops as well as online. It is important that you involve your child. Involve your child in the search, the comparison, and the decision. Don’t let yourself be pressured by deal countdowns and stock levels that seem to be decreasing in real time. After all, well-considered decisions and panic buying do not go together, even on Black Friday.

3. The recommendation algorithms

Of course, the “what other customers have bought” recommendations in online shops can be helpful. After all, they are the result of algorithms that practically translate your search and buying behaviour into products. However, if you and your child are looking for a specific item, these recommendations can not only distract from the actual wish, but can also generate new, more diffuse wishes. Add to this the special Black-Friday touch and with every click it becomes noticeably more difficult to concentrate on what you are looking for.

So, if possible, make sure that your child’s concentration is directed towards the toy you want. If possible, scroll or swipe carefully and not too far down on the relevant pages.

Also remain sceptical and consistent when it comes to so-called bundles, i.e. buying several items in a kind of special price package. You will certainly save a lot of money on the individual prices, but do you and your child really need the other components of the package right now?

4. Your own consumer behaviour as a role model

Regardless of supposed Black Friday superdeals, you as parents are and remain the most important consumer role model for your children. Your buying behaviour and your attitude towards deliberate or impulsive consumption are practically the guideline for the consumer behaviour of your children. It is therefore always important that you as parents check yourself: What do I tell my child to do when it comes to consumption? Do I hold myself back or do I find it difficult to resist the temptations of bargains? How critically do I deal with offers?

How much pressure do “make sure you get a quick offer now” banners and other scenarios of short supply exert on your buying decision and what would happen if you simply resisted this temptation and trusted that there would be an equally good, if not better, offer again sometime soon?

Finny makes financial education tangible

Of course, advertising enticements have a great attraction for children. This is especially true because their consumer behaviour is not yet strongly enough controlled by critical questioning. It is therefore even more important that a child-oriented financial education supports the education of this important consumer criticism – for a responsible handling of money.

The Finny Kids App is the first mobile banking app for children from 7 – 12 years and does exactly this and much more. Exciting knowledge about money is combined with self-defined and visualised savings goals. To ensure that these goals are achieved, parents and children can check their account and savings box balance on the screen or in the app at any time. And of course, parents or grandma and grandpa are welcome to increase this balance, for example as a reward for helping with the house chores, on birthdays, etc.

The Finny Kids App helps children to understand and understand the value of money. This applies to saving for specific goals as well as to postponing consumption and spending pocket money consciously.

Unfortunately, our Finny Kids App does not have the superpower to help your children resist every Black Friday offer. Nevertheless, they can learn step by step how to become real money heroes through financial knowledge – in the Finny Kids App and in everyday life.

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