Winter sales: when to get the best deals?

The winter sales begin this Wednesday, after a difficult end to the year for French traders and a decline in revenue for this period of reductions for two years. According to the price comparator Idealo, the first week of the sales as well as the last present the least interesting reductions.

This second Wednesday in January marks the start of the winter sales, which will last six weeks and finally end in mid-February. A true ritual awaited each year by many French people, the sales period allows traders to sell at a loss, slashing prices up to 70% in order to try to sell their stocks of goods from last seasons. In France, winter sales represent on average 20% of the annual turnover of traders. In 2018, the summer sales ended with a very mixed record, relaunching on the government side the debate of a potential reduction of their duration to four weeks instead of six. However, this possibility included in the draft Pacte law will not finally be considered until this month in the Senate, and.

While some buyers find it smarter to wait for the last markdowns to get the best prices, others prefer to go on sale the first week so they don’t miss out on the good deals. But when is it really better to buy? To answer this question, it was based on the results of the 2018 winter sales by analyzing the evolution of demand and prices during this period, for the products favored by the French.

Electronics and household appliances, privileged products during the sales

During the first week of the sales, consumer demand is strongest, with an average increase of 71% compared to the previous week. Then, very quickly, from the second week of this period of exceptional discounts, demand gradually falters. This drop can also be explained by the stagnation of promotions and offers on the most popular products.

Last year, the flagship products of the winter sales came from the world of electronics and household appliances. Unsurprisingly, the smartphone takes the first step of the podium, closely followed by graphics cards and televisions. Running shoes and sneakers are also among the ten most popular products for the French during the winter sales.

The 4th and 5th weeks of the preferential sales

Still according to the price comparison, it is during the first and last week of sales that the reductions offered on products popular with the French seem the least interesting. Conversely, the fourth and fifth weeks show the best prices on average. However, the weeks to avoid or favor for the best deals differ depending on the type of product.

For their part, the prices of smartphones are gradually falling from around 519 euros two weeks before the sales to 475 euros during the fifth week of the sales. And if among your good resolutions for the year 2019 is the daily practice of sport, the purchase of your new running shoes will be more interesting during the fourth week of the sales.

“False discounts”, deceptive practices

But beware of the phenomenon of “false discounts”, used particularly by certain online sales sites. For the latter, the practice also consists in increasing the prices of products the week preceding the sales, in order to give consumers the illusion of a more advantageous discount during the winter sales. Main products in the sights: televisions, speakers and vacuum cleaners. Last year, while televisions posted a median price of 2,008.78 euros two weeks before the sales, their price rose in just one week to 2,028.70 euros, to drop back to 1,856.38 euros during the first week of the sales. winter sales.

Another surprising fact, and this because of the surge in the digital sector, the prices of graphics cards tend to soar during the sales period, with an average increase of 20%.

Traders hope to make up for their losses

Last year, the winter sales season was not overwhelming, with retailer sales down 3.5% on average compared to the 2017 winter sales. This year, the sales period represents a This is all the more important for many traders, and these six weeks will be crucial for them to compensate for the shortfall in recent months, relating to the demonstrations of yellow vests. Last month, the Federation of Commerce and Distribution (FCD) and the National Council of Shopping Centers (CNCC) estimated losses recorded by traders at 2 billion euros.

But in a tense economic and social climate, it is very likely that the winter sales are not of particular importance in the eyes of the French, with consumers concerned about their purchasing power who could show a great deal of importance. financial prudence.

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