BOSTON, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Shoppers, who last year were poised at the gate of retail stores in the early morning hours the day after Thanksgiving, may think about sleeping in this year and letting big discounts find them instead. According to a new study by ShopAdvisor, a deferred shopping service used by independent websites and tablet magazines, as well as a mobile app available for iPhone, iPad and Android, finds Black Friday was among the worst sales days of the 2011 shopping season.
The study, which tracked 252 toys from the first day of autumn, found that in the 54 days from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, the day with the lowest percentage (46 percent) of products on sale below their initial holiday season price was Black Friday, Nov. 25. The day with the highest percentage (59 percent) of products on sale was Sunday, Nov. 13. After Thanksgiving, Thursday, Dec. 1 was the day with the next largest percentage (57 percent) of products on sale.
In fact, Black Friday is also the day on which shoppers begin to see prices spike on select items. On Black Friday itself, 24 percent of the toys on ShopAdvisor's list were priced above their initial holiday season price. After Black Friday, the day with the most toys (40 percent) selling at a premium price was Dec. 23, two days before Christmas.
"Our experience tracking more than a hundred million products shows that although Black Friday may be a good day for shopping, there are 'blacker' days to be found during the holiday shopping season," said Scott Cooper, CEO of ShopAdvisor.
ShopAdvisor's list of toys was drawn from its more than 6.5 million users who add products to their ShopAdvisor Watchlist and receive email and mobile notifications when prices drop or out-of-stock products become available.
The most vigilant shoppers will watch for sudden price drops and avoid price spikes that often last only a day or two before plunging back down to their original price or lower.
National Products' 6 Volt Pink Hummer H2 started the holiday season selling for $186. For two days it dropped as low as $132. On Thanksgiving Day it spiked to $227, fell to $190 on Black Friday, and then spiked back to $227 eight more times before Christmas day. In between those spikes, shoppers could find it for $160 on six different days.
Hasbro's popular Sesame Street Let's Rock Elmo was a bargain for almost the entire season, selling below its initial holiday season price of $59 on 60 of the next 65 days. The only question for shoppers was how long should they wait for the best deal, which was a 49 percent discount on Sunday, Dec. 18 when it was available for $29.
Steep discounts of 30 percent or more begin to appear the Sunday before Thanksgiving. For example, the $117 LEGO Ninjago Fire Temple dropped 38 percent to $72 for three days from Nov. 18-20.
Risk-tolerant bargain hunters should wait until the final 14 days before Christmas. If shoppers are willing to wait, or procrastinate, they can count on steep discounts in the two weeks before Christmas. Last year, every day, starting Dec. 11, at least one in ten toys were available for 30 percent or more under their original prices.
Avoid day-after-Christmas shopping; wait until Dec. 29. If the toy you are giving does not have to be under the tree on Christmas day, it pays to wait until Dec. 29 when 17 percent of all the toys in the ShopAdvisor Watchlist were available for 30 percent less than their pre-Black Friday prices.
Cooper added, "ShopAdvisor lets consumers decide the right time to buy, using price, reviews, availability and other factors that aren't triggered by an artificial marketing event."
A copy of the full report can be downloaded from ShopAdvisor at http://static.shopadvisor.com/press/ShopAdvisor_TheRealBlackFriday2012.pdf.
ShopAdvisor is a deferred shopping platform that connects consumers' initial interest in a product with their eventual purchase. ShopAdvisor's cloud-based services are used by digital magazines, blogs, media sites, and third-party applications to incorporate deferred shopping into their user experience. ShopAdvisor also offers apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and the web. Founded in 2011, ShopAdvisor is based in Boston, MA. For more information visit www.shopadvisor.com
ShopAdvisor, evoqu, and Watch Button are Trademarks of evoqu, Inc. © 2012