Hofstra Prof: The Second We Think We Can’t Have Something, We Want It More

COMMACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Two-thirds of American consumers plan to hit the stores next week for Black Friday with one mission — big savings.

CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff has a line on the items that will have the biggest discounts.

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Debbie Mirando said she has her Black Friday plan all mapped out.

“We will be out we figure around 8 o’clock Thanksgiving night. We plan to hit up Target, Home Depot,” Mirando said.

The annual frenzy has shoppers braving crowds for what they think are big-time steals and deals on items like toys and electronics.

But think again. The financial social network WalletHub surveyed the top U.S. retailers and 5,500 items, with surprising results.

The deepest discounts are found in the jewelry department, with an average 58 percent off, while electronics and computers are the least discounted: an average of 30 percent off.

Gusoff spoke with WalletHub’s CEO, Odysseas Papadimitriou, via skype on Thursday.

“It is important to spend their money on categories, items that are discounted much more heavily than they are any other time of the year,” Papadimitriou said.

Books, movies and music get big markdowns — on average 52 percent off — while apparel gets 48 percent off and furniture around 46 percent off, Gusoff reported.

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The discounts are on appliances are around 36 percent, while at the top of every kid’s wish list, toys are discounted the least – around 31 percent.

Hofstra University marketing professor Anne Hamby told Gusoff what really draws Black Friday crowds is not the deepest discounts of the year, but perception.

“There is something called the ‘scarcity principal,’ and the second we think that we can’t have something or there’s a limited amount of something, we want it a lot more,” Hamby said.

Hamby said for many Black Friday is simply an experience that’s not for everyone.

“I’d rather eat leftover turkey,” one shopper said.

For some, that’s the best deal of all.

More toys are discounted on Black Friday more than anything else. Toys make up one-quarter of all Black Friday sale items, Gusoff reported.

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