Where are the Seren Lifestyles Black Friday Deals?
You might be wondering where the Seren Lifestyles Black Friday deals are. As you might have noticed, things have been a little quiet on that front from Seren HQ!
Many businesses have been advertising their Black Friday deals for some time now, despite the fact that it is only just here! It is marketed as a great opportunity for customers to purchase products from large companies at heavily discounted prices. But are the discounts really as great as they seem? And is it as great for small independent businesses?
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday. The term “Black Friday” was actually first associated with a gold market crash in the US in 1868, not with sales shopping. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the post-Thanksgiving period became associated with the name. By the late 1980s, the term was commonly known across the US. Retailers soon linked it to their post-Thanksgiving sales.
Today, Black Friday is considered to be the biggest shopping event of the year in the US. Many shops cut their prices on a range of products in order to boost sales and officially kick off the festive season. The concept of the Black Friday sale was brought to the UK by large companies such as Amazon and, for them, the business model works well. The number of products on offer seems to increase each year and the hype around the sales starts earlier and earlier!
Are the deals really deals?
There have been “Black Friday Sale” posters and adverts in shops and all over social media for weeks now. I remember several years ago, there were huge discounts on some of the things my children had asked for for Christmas. I fell into the trap of buying them in the Black Friday sale, only to find that the prices didn’t go up again afterwards anyway! Now I’m sure that there are some things that are genuinely only reduced for a short period of time. However there does seem to be an increasing number of things for sale at the same Black Friday deal price, or only very slightly higher, for much longer than Black Friday!
When I thought about it, I realised that I also know that I can avoid paying full price for clothes and other items from large department stores. All I have to do is keep an eye out for their regular discount days. How often have you gone into a shop to buy one thing in the sale and ended up buying more? And how often has that extra thing ended up staying in the cupboard? Or taken to the charity shop because you don’t get round to wearing or using it? It’s as though I’ve been conditioned to wait to buy things when they are reduced and to only pay “full price” if there is something I need in between times.
This is fine for larger businesses and retailers, but the situation is very different for small businesses.
So, what about Seren Lifestyles?
Unlike the larger companies, smaller businesses like Seren have less room for manoeuvre. We certainly don’t have the luxury of the wider profit margins that come from being able to buy huge quantities of products from suppliers. But that’s not the only reason that offering regular discount days isn’t appealing.
In Seren’s case, for example, a lot of the wood products are handmade by us. The wood boxes and signs are crafted from rough wood that is planed, sanded several times, cut to thickness and cut to size. They are then constructed and finished using varnish, sealer or wax. They also have designs burnt into the wood by hand using the traditional art of pyrography. This skill takes time to learn and to perfect. It is not as quick as inputting a design into a machine and pressing go! The prices reflect the quality and craftsmanship that go into making the products. To drastically reduce the price of these products devalues the time and skill that goes into creating them. It essentially means that the labour costs are zero. How would you react if you were told that you were working for free just to give someone else a “bargain”?
I work hard to make sure that all of the prices are realistic and fair all year round. I don’t believe that people should have to pay higher prices for some of the year to cover the cost of discounting products at other times of the year. The prices already include overheads, materials and labour cost. A proportion is also assigned to help the business move forwards. To reduce them would mean that not only is labour free but that there is no money to develop new products either.
Are there ever any deals to be had?
Although there won’t be Seren Lifestyles Black Friday deals, that doesn’t mean that there won’t ever be discounts! I provide discount codes to repeat customers and have exclusive offers in my customer Facebook group. I also have sales on products that are end of line and I don’t intend to stock going forwards. This doesn’t mean they are damaged. Just a reflection on how the business is constantly evolving and the fact that I want to offer customers variety too. The difference is that I do these at a time that suits me.
So this year, and in years to come as well, if you’re looking for bargains and one day deals then I’m afraid you’re in the wrong place. If, however, you’re looking for quality products at fair prices all year round, then welcome to the Seren Lifestyles’ family!