Tis the season of Black Friday and holiday shopping, but buyer beware: not all bargains are as good as they might appear.
In fact, research indicates that 87 percent of popular items can be acquired at a cheaper price at other times of the year.
Even so, from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day retailers try to lure you into their stores by offering a mind-boggling array of deals, such as percentage discounts, buy-one-get-one-free and volume pricing.
If you’re not a math major, your head can explode trying to figure out exactly how much money – if any – you actually save on a given item.
That’s where the Black Friday Calculator comes in. This free, online gizmo will do the work for you. Just enter (a) the type of discount, (b) the number of items purchased, and (c) the applicable tax, and PRESTO, you find out whether you’re getting a bargain or a bust.
“Nobody wants to do the math when a Black Friday super-mega-limited offer appears,” says the Omni Calculator website, which created the Black Friday Calculator. “You’re in a hurry and are stressed that it will soon disappear. We understand completely. That’s why you need to prepare in advance. Check out the prices beforehand, search for the best deals in different places and compare the offers. To make this task easier for you, we’ve built this Black Friday calculator to deal with nine popular kinds of deals so that you can use it whatever the saving.”
Shopping Without Dropping
The calculator works for the following nine deal options:
- % off (also called simply “discount”). The final price is determined by using percentages.
- % off on second product. Also appears as “Buy one, get second x% off.”
- % off on third product. Similar to the previous option, but two products come at their standard price whereas only the third (the cheapest one) has a reduction.
- 2 for 1. Buy one, get one free (BOGO). If the prices differ, the cheaper item is discounted.
- 3 for 2. Another type of BOGO (buy one, get one free) offer: similar to the 2 for 1 deal, but not so rewarding, as the maximum discount is 33.3 percent.
- 4 for 3. Similar to the previous two deals, but usually the least profitable. The maximum discount you can get is only 25 percent, and that’s the case when all the items are the same price.
- Double discount. Sometimes you can find offers such as 50 percent + 30 percent. It doesn’t mean that somebody doesn't know how to add 50 to 30. It means the original discount was 50 percent off, then 30 percent was taken from the new price. For this example, the effective discount is 65 percent, not 80 percent.
- Triple discount. Similar to the previous deal, but the discounting happens three times.
- Discount on multiple units. Also appears as buy N of the same item for $x.
Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year. But be careful. Avoid getting sucked into a “deal” that is more sour than sweet. And remember, it’s not life or death when you’re shopping. It’s just stuff.