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Black Friday in Bulgaria: Between a marketing ploy and customer benefit

Photo: Pixabay

The campaign for shopping at bargain prices, known as Black Friday, has been growing more and more popular in Bulgaria. By planning carefully and keeping abreast of the offers, consumers are able to purchase products at exceptional prices, say the people who have not come up against unfair trading practices in Bulgaria. Still, we ought to regard this day as a well-planned marketing ploy to attract more buyers. There is a psychological side to it as well, with traders announcing the Black Friday commodity will only be available in limited quantities. And it often turns out that on such days people tend to buy things they do not actually need, just because of the discounts.

“The Black Friday campaigns are now very recognizable in this country, with consumers obviously interested, and businesses trying to benefit from this interest to make higher profits,” says Gabriela Rumenova, a customer rights advocate for many years, and moderator of the online platform “We, consumers”. “When they do it fairly, when consumers are informed openly about the conditions, there is nothing wrong in this, because consumers have identified the campaign as a way to buy something they have saved up for, and also to buy Christmas presents. In this way they can be sure they will be able to choose the most appropriate gift, and if they are buying online, they will have guarantees that the parcel will arrive before the holiday season. So that when traders have fair and clear conditions and are honest with their clients, then the campaign works. 

People are turning more and more to online shopping, all the more so that many of the bargains are in the online stores. But all surveys conducted regarding Black Friday show that people still prefer to shop in physical shops. Nevertheless, there are a great many online shoppers, and we can warn them about the most important things they should be on the lookout for. First, they should be very careful about what website they are buying from. Our advice is that they put their trust in traders they know because they have proven their loyalty. During campaigns such as this many new traders come to the surface, some of them actually break the law. There are people in these online shops and websites who have no intention of selling anything, what they are after is stealing people’s personal data. People should take advantage of the bargain prices, but they should be very wary and check on the traders, on the specifics of each commodity on sale,” Gabriela Rumenova says. And if we come up against an unfair trader we ought to seek redress and look for help from consumer protection organizations.

According to consumer attitudes studies before the Covid-19 pandemic, people in Bulgaria tended to spend an average of around EUR 204 on Black Friday shopping. During the pandemic years, this sum dropped, but now we are seeing a return to pre-pandemic levels – the exact figures will be clear at the end of the year.

“This year, Black Friday is attracting more customers, and more traders who are offering discounts, and not only on one particular day, they have been extending the campaign to “Black weekend” or even “Black November”. On 25 November, Velislava Blagoeva will also be offering bargain prices in her own shop. She is one of the few importers of roller-skates from Germany, and she is taking part in the campaign for the first time:

“Most clients expect a discount of 50-60% but our discounts are much smaller,” Velislava says. “We cannot afford such big discounts. I myself am not expecting more new clients on Black Friday, I am not looking for popularity or publicity. I am bringing down prices because of our regular clients who want to benefit from a discount,” Velislava Blagoeva says for Radio Bulgaria.

Translated and posted by Milena Daynova

Photos: Pixabay

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