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Psychology of "Black Friday": how not to be deceived and to benefit
Psychology of "Black Friday": how not to be deceived and to benefit

So, soon "Black Friday" - in Russia in 2021 it starts on the night of November 24-25. Crowds of people will rush to storm a variety of shops. Some will be able to save huge sums, while others will spend much more on nonsense than they planned. How can you be among those who are lucky?

The essence of Black Friday

Black Friday is a special day

The unprecedented discounts that sellers promise on Black Friday are attracting millions of buyers. Some of them go berserk and behave as if they were taking part in the Battle of Winterfell, and did not come to the store for a blender or sneakers.

“The buyers, I'm not kidding, physically fought each other. People snatched things from each other, overturned carts. It was chaos, "says Indiana University professor Sharon Lennon, who began studying inappropriate consumer behavior after seeing several" fights "during Black Friday. Even educated middle-aged women are on a rampage, she said, fighting with other customers, yelling at salespeople, and stealing purchases from other people's carts.

In Russia, such contractions are less common. Perhaps the fact is that Black Friday appeared in our country relatively recently - in 2013. But the usual trouble of this sale of Russian women has not passed. When you're standing next to a shelf and looking at an 80% off price tag, getting the weirdest items seems like a great idea. Thousands of women after "Black Friday" look at the packages and boxes brought from the store, bewildered: "And why did I need the sixth dress-hoodie, a pillow-boyfriend and a candle with the smell of vodka?"

So what makes us go crazy on Black Friday and can we handle it? Let's figure it out!

Why are we buying excess?

Black Friday 2021

Black Friday makes people buy unnecessary things

There are several reasons why people buy unnecessary items or go beyond the budget they planned to spend. Some of them are related to psychology, some are related to the deception that dodgy salespeople go to. These are the factors that make us impulsive in stores.


Black Friday precedes Christmas and New Years, the holidays for which we purchase gifts for friends and family. And, of course, the ability to save affects our willingness to spend. This would seem to be very reasonable. Alas, other triggers that are triggered during Black Friday often lead to good intentions ending in a dilemma: "What to live on for the next month?"

Artificial scarcity

Customers value a product more if they feel a shortage of it. The essence of Black Friday is based on this: stores sell a limited number of items in a short time, speculating on a sense of scarcity. This activates "consumer competitive excitement": people perceive the sale as a game with winners and losers. The less time to buy, the stronger the fear of lost profits, which often outweighs the arguments of reason and forces us to fill the cart with what we do not need.

False price tags

Salespeople devote entire textbooks to work with price tags, because correctly selected numbers bring colossal profits. There are a lot of techniques. The most famous is to raise the price before "Black Friday", then with a clear conscience to announce that the discount on sneakers on the day of sale is 70%.

There are other manipulations: for example, placing the product in an environment of more expensive ones - then the contrast between the numbers will play a role.Only then will the buyer realize that the chosen TV is not at all as cheap as it seemed to him: the cost was completely ordinary, it just seemed low because of the other price tags that he saw nearby.


Many psychologists attribute the popularity of Black Friday in the United States to the fact that it immediately follows Thanksgiving. It is customary to celebrate this holiday with relatives, and only in romkoms family dinners of several generations are pleasant and take place in an atmosphere of mutual love and respect.

In fact, during such meetings, quarrels often arise and mutual claims are heard. And people who have experienced this unpleasant event often run to the store to relieve stress: according to research, we get pleasure when we buy something at a price lower than we were going to pay.

The desire to repeat after the rest

"Everyone ran, and I ran!" - we are often guided by this rule in life. And when millions go to storm stores, it's not easy not to follow. Envy also works: how is it that all colleagues at work will stock up on discounted ankle boots and lipsticks, but I don't? Disorder!

Memories of the past

Do you remember the joke: "Vasya, who are you waiting for, a son or a daughter?" - “Son. I want a radio-controlled helicopter!”? Very often people are influenced by their background. Yes, the tenth pumps are definitely not needed, but the memories of the prom you went to in holey shoes do not give up so easily and make you buy another pair of shoes. Childhood with two toys - a bald baby doll and a shabby bear - provokes dozens of dolls and construction sets for my daughter. And when it can be done by spending 80% less, it is not easy to resist!

Clogged wardrobes

Another reason for unnecessary purchases is the abundance of things. Often we simply forget what we already have, and then with surprise we look at the shelf in the closet, where there are already a dozen scented candles. Or a month later, we take the boyfriend's pillow to the closet and find a few more there - orthopedic, with buckwheat and in the form of a plush unicorn.

But how do you avoid impulse buying?

Black Friday

There are rules to avoid spending extra money on Black Friday

In spite of everything, Black Friday continues to be a great way to save money, including on gifts. The main thing is to cook it correctly! So, here are some tips to help you avoid spending extra money.

Choose a target

Decide what you are going to buy: some things for yourself or gifts for friends and relatives. Make a list of them - you don't have to do it in one go, you can return to the list for several days, checking if you have lost anything you need. Analyze the list: surely the items that you already have were not included in it?

Decide on a budget

It doesn't matter if you are buying one laptop for yourself or planning to purchase three cups, four cosmetic kits and a balaclava with tentacles to solemnly present all this at a New Year's party to your friends. In any case, you need to understand how much you are ready to spend on it without prejudice to the next months of your life. Eating oatmeal alone is a dubious pleasure! And giving up your favorite take-away coffee for several weeks will also be sad.

Price monitor

This is the main rule of the Black Friday fight club: you need to prepare for it in advance. You need to know exactly how much the coveted smartphone cost before the sale in order to actually buy it at a discount. If you have to purchase a lot of things, do not be too lazy to look at the prices for them at the stage of compiling the list. This is an excellent guideline that will allow you to either save money or get rid of the imposed feeling of scarcity: you will know for sure that scented candles for 99 rubles can be bought at any time, and not just today.

Don't go shopping when there are a lot of people

The more often you see someone putting a box in their cart, the stronger the urge to do the same. If possible, choose a time for shopping when there are fewer people in the malls. This, by the way, is also good for health, since the number of cases, like last fall, is growing again! There is one more life hack: it is better to go shopping in the morning - at this time we make more balanced and rational decisions.

Use cash

Diminishing bills in your wallet are a great way to control spending. So withdraw money from your account and spend only it, without resorting to a card, - this way you will exactly fit into the planned budget. This method, while old-fashioned and not very convenient, works great. You can not look at this sms about write-offs, but it is much more difficult to close your eyes at an empty wallet.

Don't take a cart or basket

If you come to a large store for a specific item that you can carry in your hands, go for it right away and do not take a basket or cart. With them, you can wander past the shelves endlessly, grabbing all sorts of completely unnecessary trifles along the way.

Finally, never forget that Black Friday is not the only sale. There will be others, and you can always buy whatever you want, while saving money.

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