PEAK 2022 Are retailers inflating prices to make Black Friday deals look better?

A quarter of products for sale online have gone up in price in the run up to Black Friday, while just 18% have dropped in price, as retailers stand accused of inflating prices to make bargains look greater during peak.

E-commerce data analytics and sourcing software company www.SourceMogul.com, which analyses 20 million products each month to determine pricing trends, and, has looked at more than 64,000 products in the UK to compare prices to the average in the three months prior to the discount period.

The data showed that only 18% of products were cheaper versus their historic price trends, whereas 25% of products were actually more expensive. When added to the products that showed no change, SourceMogul was able to demonstrate that 82% of products were either more expensive, or pricing was unchanged. If all of the individual product price increases were added together, it totals £253,000, compared to the total of the discounts at just £64,000.

While the rises could just be a reflection of rising costs of goods and supplies seen across the board in retail, Ed Brooks, CEO of www.SourceMogul.com, believes that there is something else going on.

“Our algorithm monitors product price fluctuations and the data’s clear… Black Friday isn’t all about price falls,” he says. “Even with some margin of error, there’s hard to conclude that the Black Friday period is much cheaper overall. Our business is all about finding products that people sell on Amazon at a profit, which has been a real growth sector. There are still bargains to be had, but the overall picture is more nuanced than many may think.”

The contrast in the US was also stark, with more than 120,000 products analysed. Mike Barbero, Data Analyst from SourceMogul, adds: “Whilst most prices were unchanged beyond a 1% difference, more than 39,000 had actually risen in price, while 18,000 had dropped. On average, the individual price increases were revealed to be over one and a half times the price reductions of discounted products over the same period. In terms of actual cumulative cash changes across the products, those that went up amounted to over $256,000 compared to cumulative price reductions of only around $182,000.”

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