The most important time of the year for retailers begins at the end of November
Federico Gambarini / dpa
The big retailers will definitely be in the black during the Black Week that is now coming to an end – and are already looking forward to Cyber Monday.
For you as a customer, it is much more important: Is this actually the cheapest time of year to buy electronic devices, for example?
Is this the only week of the crisis when you really want to spend money?
Hopefully she isn't.
Black Week and Black Friday are actually just a promotional idea for retailers.
Their reasoning: Customers' money is looser before Christmas, the Christmas bonus is available, some have received a bonus from their boss at the end of the year - and Christmas presents have to be bought.
The German trade association expects sales of 5.7 billion euros on Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone.
Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Black Week originally came from the USA.
There, Friday is a bridging day between Thanksgiving and the last weekend of November.
Given the few vacation days US workers have, it's the ideal opportunity for a day's holiday shopping.
After the weekend, retailers are trying to sell a few more products on Cyber Monday.
What used to only take place in stores has been dominating the web for a number of years.
In fact, the really expensive Christmas presents are often bought before the first Advent.
From the retailer's point of view: Whoever manages to attract potential customers to their (virtual) store during this time has won the Christmas business.
Many means are right for this.
One of them is called FOMO (fear of missing out) – New German for pressure.
A classic FOMO example: This special offer is only available today, only 20 units left in stock.
Despite all this, there are actually decent price reductions these days: As the price portal Idealo.de reports, the discounts last year averaged five percent, and every fifth offer was even more than 20 percent cheaper.
A whopping 62 percent of all products considered were therefore really cheaper on Black Friday.
This year, computer accessories such as SSD hard drives (-46 percent) and graphics cards (-29 percent) are said to be significantly cheaper.
However, bargain hunting also means that you only know afterwards whether the prices on Cyber Monday or Black Friday were really the cheapest.
You also have it in your own hands to take real bargains and simply leave supposed special offers.
This is how a smart purchasing policy works:
You only buy what you really need - for your household or as a gift.
So determine in advance which products you want to buy during the peak Christmas season.
If Samsung offers you the flat screen TV for free when you buy the expensive cell phone, that's only a good idea if you actually need a smartphone and television.
Because the mobile phone is usually significantly more expensive with these offers than when buying it individually.
They set a cheap price for each of these products they need.
Use price search engines such as Idealo.de or billiger.de.
If your desired console currently costs 500 euros, but it has cost 400 euros in the past six months, then you can set 450 euros as an interesting price.
And only if you find such an offer, strike these days.
If you are unsure whether the shop is reputable and you do not know the name, for example, you should use a service from the consumer advice centers: You can use the fake shop finder to check the seriousness of online shops.
Incidentally, I use price search engines all year round to compare prices for gardening tools, bicycle helmets, shoes or expensive birthday presents.
I recently saved 50 euros on shoes and 40 euros on a bicycle helmet.
Set the price alarm clock with the desired price for your desired objects on the price search engine pages.
You will then receive an email from the search engines as soon as this price is reached or undercut and which provider is currently offering the product at such a low price.
You can then order the product you want cheaply there.
By the way, Amazon and Check24 are not price search engines.
You don't necessarily get a cheap or even the cheapest price for the flat screen TV for the World Cup there.
Speaking of televisions: with them you can see how discounts usually only apply to specific products and times.
Last year, TV sets are said to have been eleven percent cheaper on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
This November it is said that televisions have become significantly more expensive, only the very expensive premium models have dropped in price a little.
In October, however, the Federal Statistical Office had determined a price reduction of 2.5 percent overall, with 10 percent inflation.
But it wasn't the World Cup yet.
Always consider alternative products to your desired device: a little less or more storage, a different color, or verified second-hand at buyzocks, rebuy, or as-good-as-new.
With mobile phones or cameras, there are such used offers in all price ranges.
In some cases, warranties even last longer than when buying a new vehicle.
So you never shop indiscriminately, but you also don't depend on the vendor's flypaper when he tries to keep his prices high during the Christmas season.
Don't buy gifts on credit.
And with furniture and equipment in hire purchase, you should compare the conditions.
In recent years, furniture and more expensive appliances have often come with a zero percent loan offer.
It was particularly important to compare the price of the sofa or device.
Because it's no use buying the sofa more expensive with a zero percent credit if it's cheaper elsewhere.
And then the loan must also be paid off during the term without getting into the overdraft facility.
These zero-percent times are over for the time being anyway: Today, behind many dealer credits, an extremely high interest rate of 15 percent is again looming.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is not an alternative either, because you have to pay after a month at the latest - possibly with hefty interest.
Actually, BNPL is just a new term for purchase on account, you also had to pay the bill in a short period of time.
If buying on credit cannot be avoided, at least compare the credit conditions at banks.
Loans for 4 or 5 percent interest are possible and quickly save hundreds of euros on expensive purchases.
Under no circumstances should you be talked into taking out residual debt insurance for your loan!
It's almost always a rip off, and the cost of this useless insurance is often higher than the interest on your loan.
And now good luck and have fun shopping!
Treat yourself to a hot chocolate or mulled wine in between.
Regardless of whether you shop on the computer or at the Christmas market.
You've easily saved the price for it.