This year Black Friday falls on November 24, 2017. As the biggest shopping day in America, it’s sure to cause a rush with heavy discounts and one-off deals.
In fact, Americans plan to spend $59.57 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases this year alone.
Do you regret your shopping spree? You’re not alone!
An estimated 43.5% of people have purchased something on sale that they later regretted.
The average amount spent per item was $431, totalling to over a whopping $46 billion of regretful discounted purchases in the past year!
Type of sale purchases
- The types of items that people are most likely to purchase on sale and later regret are technology/electronics (30.2%), followed by clothing and accessories at 23.4% and household items at 14.7%.
- Other categories include food/drink at 6.5%, shoes at 5.1%, music at 4.4%, cosmetics/fragrances at 4.3% and literature at 2.2%.
- The average spend per sale item on technology/electronics was $285, clothing and accessories was $87, and household items was $244.
Even though women (44.3%) were more likely to purchase items on sale that they later regretted than men (42.7%), men were more likely to spend more per item on their regretful purchases ($526) than women ($343).
Millennials lead the generations in purchasing sale items they later regret. Over one in two Millennials (51.3%), 45.9% of Gen X and 36.0% of Baby Boomers have made sale purchases they regret.
Although when it comes to the amount spent, Millennials appear to be the most conservative generation. Millennials spent an average of $236 per sale item they regret. Baby Boomers spent $413 and Gen X spent $585.
When it comes to household income, generally those with a lower income are less likely to purchase sale items they regret, and when they do, are more likely to spend less per item compared to those with higher income.
||Likelihood of sales purchase regret
||Amount spent per purchase
|$0 to $25,000
|$25,000 to $50,000
|$50,000 to $75,000
|$75,000 to $100,000
|$100,000 to $150,000
The psychology of sales
Our study found that 65.2% of people have purchased an item on sale that they wouldn’t have purchased if it wasn’t on sale. The average amount spent per item was $641.
As with sale regrets, women (68.2%) have a higher likelihood of purchasing items on sale that they wouldn’t have purchased if they weren’t on sale. Men, in comparison, sit at 62.0%.
Women spent an average of $412 on such items and men spent an average of $903.
Once again, Millennials are more likely to purchase an item on sale that they wouldn’t have purchased if it wasn’t on sale, but spend less per item. Three in four Millennials (76.0%), 65.7% of Gen X and 57.5% of Baby Boomers have made such purchases.
Millennials spent an average of $499, Baby Boomers spent $677 and Gen X spent $716 per item.
How long do we hold off buying?
During the lead up to the big annual mega sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s common to hold off spending in anticipation. An estimated 117 million American adults (47.8%) deferred dropping dollars on clothing, electronics, major appliances and furniture while waiting for the release of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Better safe than sorry, right?
Of those hanging out to see the bargains, a one- to two-month wait is the most common (14.7%), followed by a few weeks (13.8%), three to six months (9.8%) and a patient seven to eleven months (3.7%). Some 5.9% of us are willing to wait an entire year!
Census Bureau monthly retail trade stats
- Total retail sales last November was $416.1 billion, that’s a 5.0% increase from November 2015 ($396.2 billion).
- November total retail sales have grown by $74.3 billion compared to a decade ago ($341.8 billion in November 2007 to $416.1 billion in November 2016).
- Average growth in retail sales for November each year since 2010 (after the financial crisis) is 4.6%.
- Projected total retail sales for November this year is estimated to be $435.3 billion, according to finder.com.
- Americans are expected to spend about $60 billion across the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, that’s 13.7% of the total November forecasted sales for the month.
How many of us are planning on purchasing this year?
While 117 million of us are eagerly waiting to see what’s on offer come November 24, an estimate of more than 108 million American adults (44.1%) are confident that they’ll be parting with their cash over Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year. But how does that translate by demographic?
A higher proportion of women intend to spend money on Black Friday sales this year (46.5%) compared with men (41.6%).
||Plans to spend money
||Doesn’t plan to spend money
Predictably, the younger you are, the more likely you’re going to splurge this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, 61.9% of millennials plan to spend money, followed by 49.5% of Gen Xers and 27.0% of baby boomers.
Of qualifying states, Georgia came in first of those planning to spend (52.9%), followed by Wisconsin (51.2%) and Illinois (50.7%).
Interestingly, those with an annual household income of $50,000 to $75,000 intend to spend the most on upcoming sales compared with any other income bracket, while those earning between $150,000 and $300,000 top the list for least likely to spend.
Not surprisingly, singles plan on treating themselves the most (51.6%), followed by those married or in a domestic partnership (43.9%), those separated (41.2%), divorcees (33.5%) and widows (26.9%).
||Plans to spend money
||Doesn’t plan to spend money
|Married or domestic partnership
|Single, never married
How much will we spend?
On average, Americans plan to spend $550 each on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year — totaling a whopping $59.57 billion!
Consumer advocate helping people improve their personal finances.