The price looks like it has been massively slashed and there is a ticking countdown until the deal is over – you'd better act fast before it's gone.
The month of November is the hardest time of the year to resist buying would-be "deals" online, as retailers pound visitors at first with 11/11 Single's Day deals and, shortly after, countless Black Friday offerings, this year on Nov. 27. In Turkey, the English name does not have a nice ring to it, hence e-commerce giants have come up with localized equivalents such as "Efsane Cuma," meaning legendary Friday, or "Şahane Cuma," meaning fantastic Friday.
In the days running up to the discount mania, most websites with anything to sell say they have widely reduced their prices.
By all means, there are plenty of great offers out there, but experts say you'll need a cool head to wade your way through the thousands of non-deals out there.
Unrealistic price comparisons
The amount of savings the seller says you'll be making on the deal is usually based on a comparison with the manufacturer's recommended retail prices. But this rarely corresponds to the usual sale price, even at launch. To find out what you're really saving, you'll need to search online and on other platforms.
Watchdogs like those at Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia consumer advice center say that retailers will often raise their prices a few days before the promotion, only to lower them again and celebrate this as a big discount.
To narrow your scope, retailers will also remove certain products from their range at the start of the promotion – and then suddenly add them back at the end of the promotion.
On average, according to the consumer protection experts, the discounts on various days of the campaign are more like 20%, rather than the 50% often claimed.
According to British consumer awareness magazine Which?, more than half (61%) of all Black Friday sale items in the U.K. are cheaper or the same price before the so-called sales begin.
Time pressure and limited stocks
Time running out until the deal ends or bars showing dwindling stocks is all designed to put customers under pressure to buy fast before thinking.
If you don't have time to research, then you won't suspect anything is wrong will the deal. For this reason, online retail experts say it is important to check beforehand whether free returns are possible.
Things don't always look like a bargain when you add shipping costs. It's also worth checking what kind of delivery time to expect. Otherwise, you can end up waiting forever for that slightly cheaper phone charger to arrive from China.
You're also advised not to make any advance payments or direct bank transfers on websites you're not familiar with, as these may well be fake offers. Payment by invoice or direct debit is more secure.
Finally, once you are finished shopping, delete your browser history and cookies to make it harder for retailers to create comprehensive profiles of your purchasing behavior.