Can you beat the retailers?


11 Economic Lessons to Make You a Smarter Shopper For Black Friday

The first and last rule of prices is that nobody knows what anything is worth. Shoppers are guided by shallow clues (“this is cheaper than that”) and latent emotions (“it feels like a good deal”) rather than knowledge and deliberate thinking. The discounts you’ll see Friday are an act of theater co-produced by retail stores and suppliers. A red cardigan sweater on sale for more than 40 percent off looks appealing at $39.99. But 40 percent off of what, exactly? “It was [probably] never meant to sell at its $68,” the Wall Street Journal reported in its investigation of the dark magic of Black Friday. The discount game works for everybody: We get our discount-dopamine hit, and the stores get their profit. Smart shopping might be an oxymoron. But smarter shopping? That’s noble and achievable goal. Here are 11 tips from microeconomics, behavioral economics, and social psychology to guide you to successful and as-smart-as-possible Black Friday. ….[READ]


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