Black Friday – Cyber Monday and double glazing sales
Black Friday is the name given to the day after Thanksgiving day in the US and is often thought to be the official start to the U.S. Christmas shopping season. So Black Friday is a shopping day for a combination of reasons. As the first day after the last major US bank holiday before Christmas, it marks the unofficial beginning of the winter shopping season. Many U.S. employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. So this makes it a “four day holiday weekend.” To entice consumers, virtually all retailers in the country, big and small, offer various sales.
What about online Sales?
Black Friday today is seen as a retailer sales day, however most retailers also have some form of online selling. Cyber Monday is another U.S. inspired sales idea. The term "Cyber Monday" was created by marketing companies to encourage people to shop online. Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday. The UK is slightly different from the US market however. Us Brits do not get time off work for Thanksgiving so the Black Friday phenomenon has only caught on in recent years, when e-commerce had already become a core part of many consumers' shopping habits. It was brought to these shores by Amazon, surely the largest online retailer in the whole world?
So what’s happening in the UK Glazing Industry?
A quick trawl of Google shows the following results below. I have removed the company names but you can see the general trend here, discounts range from 30%-50% off. Off what you may ask? Well I have been in the glazing industry for 35 years and the trend from the big national glazing companies is to entice consumer with “big ticket discounts” The trouble is these style of adverts run all year round, so it makes the discount pointless and nothing more than a gimmick.
Save £1000s – Up To 45% Off | Double Glazed Windows
Up To 50% Off Double Glazing | Finance From Just £199 Deposit
Black Friday 30% Lower Prices | Double Glazing
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) states “Savings claims are a common promotional tool, often in the form of discounts such as ‘was £9.99, now £4.99’ or sales promotions. Marketers wanting to make claims about the relative cost of their product should ensure that they make the basis of the comparison clear and follow the guidance below to ensure their pricing does not mislead, or is likely to mislead, consumers.” They continue stating “Advertisers must ensure that any reference prices, such as ‘was’ prices used to advertise the savings a consumer can make represent a genuine established usual selling price and will not mislead. Recency, pricing history, sales data, sales and distribution channels will all affect whether a higher price is sufficiently established as a usual selling price.” So in my opinion all year round sales pricing within our industry is just not either ethical or legal.
KJM –why do we choose a different route to market?
You can call me old fashioned, or whatever you like. I just don’t like high pressure sales, needless discounts and false promotions. I do get it that people want to believe they have just secured themselves a bargain. My wife often tells me she has just bought some clothing and it was marked down by £20, “I’ve bought two items so I have just saved £40” she tells me. Sure with clothing if it is an end of line promotion that gets rid of winter stock or last year’s fashion, discounts can be had. These discounts help clear the shelves.
However windows & doors are a totally bespoke product, usually made to order, so there is rarely a need to shift old stock. This leads me to believe that the 50% discounts being offered are totally false, but I will let you be the judge of that! The discounting practice is just a form of "pressure selling" as the discounts normally run out very quickly, adding pressure to sign on the night.
If I had the time, nothing would give me more pleasure than challenging these so called ‘discounts’. Hopefully the day I retire, I will have much more time and go on my personal crusade to stop promotions that in my eyes are clearly breaking the law. As ever my advice would be to get another quote, as my father used to tell me "if it sounds too good too be true, then it usually is."