A pair of Target shoppers were found what appears to be definitive proof the retail chain is lying about “Black Friday Deals” by showing three supposed deals on Samsung TVs.
In a viral TikTok, DeJay Downey (@djdowneygirl) shows a Target shopper removing a placard emblazoned with “Black Friday Deals” from its placeholder, revealing the previous price of the same item. Both of the tags indicate the 75-inch Samsung TV costs $649.99.
“Oh, it’s the same,” the shopper says as she puts the placards back inside of the plastic flag-shaped container. “OK, what about this one?” Someone behind the camera can be heard asking, as the camera pans over to another TV set, in this case a 65-inch Samsung. “Oh, it’s the same,” the shopper says, yet again pulling out the placard to reveal identical prices on two different price tag cards that list the TV as $429.99 on both the “Black Friday Deals” sticker and standard red-and-white Target tag.
She moves on over to another TV set: a 50″ one that also carries two identical prices on differently branded stickers: $329.99 for both.
The video has amassed more than 16 million views since Nov. 24. Numerous commenters who saw her revealing identical prices on different tags for the same items chimed in with Black Friday hate and anecdotes of their own experiences shopping or working on the infamous day of discounts.
Some said Black Friday has always been a scam it’s just that people are paying closer attention to it now. Like this one person who wrote, “I love that people are paying attention now. It was embarrassing to be in retail.”
Another user quipped, “i got my mom a coach purse for christmas last week for $145. they marked it up to almost $200 for black friday.”
Black Friday criticism is nothing new: A number of social media users have called out retailers who participate in the marketing scheme for not offering the same level of steep discounts as they used to. But there are those who have long contested that the “reference discounts” retailers have been advertising as the original prices for Black Friday deals are usually just inflated former price points for products that were implemented shortly prior to the sale.
However, others suggested that the sales people are seeing aren’t necessarily bad discounts, it’s just that the sales are occurring earlier in the month, turning Black Friday into essentially Black November. “I worked at target back in 2015 thru 2020 and it was always like that things are on sale a month before black friday,” one user wrote.
But others maintained that Black Fridays of yesteryear featured some stunning discounts and promotions for shoppers who were willing to came out and get in the store early in order to save some cash on consumer goods. “Black Friday deals used to be SO GOOD. Now I don’t even bother. Even online they raise the price, to ‘drop it,'” a user wrote.
“I miss people throwing down over $50 TVs and getting $100 gift cards for being the first few in,” another joked.
It seems that the fervor over going Black Friday shopping in the hopes of securing some deep discounts has ultimately waned for some consumers: “This was the first time in over 15 years I didn’t go BLACK FRIDAY shopping. I didn’t even buy the newspaper to look for sales,” one user revealed.
While there seems to be a recurring debate over as to whether or not Black Friday deals are all pomp or circumstance (and always have been) or that they’ve fallen off, there are still those who dedicate themselves to finding some of the best offers available for shoppers. This CNBC article maintains that there are very well deals to be had—folks just need to know where to look. And one needn’t look too hard in order to find aggregated lists of unsold inventories of products that are still being offered on the (relatively) cheap when compared to their normal retail prices.
In Downey’s case, however, it appears that her and her co-shopper found definitive proof that Target was either trying to dupe customers into thinking the prices on those TV sets were “Black Friday Deals” or that these “deals” went into effect weeks prior.
Update 3pm CT, Nov. 29: A Target spokesperson told the Daily Dot the following in a statement:
“A recent TikTok video showed a guest questioning if there was a sale on three Samsung TVs that had both a Black Friday sale sign, as well as a sale sign behind it indicating the same price.
In fact, the TVs were on sale before Black Friday as part of our early Black Friday sales. We continued to offer those items at the same discount during Black Friday, but updated the signage to reflect the extended timing.
In both instances, guests would have saved the same amount, between $20-$80 depending on which TV they purchased. Those discounted prices compared to the regular prices are clearly shown in both sale signs in the video.
We know our guests are looking for flexibility when they shop holiday deals, which is why we began Black Friday deals in late October and will continue offering great discounts throughout the holiday season. We also offer a Price Match Guarantee, and will match the price of any item purchased by a guest that is offered at a lower price later in the season.“
The Daily Dot has reached out to Target via email for clarification on its Black Friday pricing structure and Downey via TikTok comment for further information.