Black Friday: Appliance makers offering discounts now
According to Chuck Ewing, CEO of the Appliance Factory Outlet, major appliance manufacturers offered retailers what they termed "Black Friday prices" back in July. It was an effort to get rid of inventory and spur sales in November. At his 10 store chain, appliances from Frigidaire, GE, LG and Whirlpool are being promoted as kind of a Black Friday every day in November sale.
"These are the lowest prices we've ever seen," Ewing told WalletPop in a telephone interview. "This year, the consumer will see actual Black Friday pricing in November. It won't be lower on Black Friday itself, and in some cases may even go up."
Currently, Ewing stores are promoting big ticket items like an LG French door refrigerator for $1199.99. We found this product for a range of prices from $1,099.99 for a used model on eBay to $1,832 on BrandsConnection.com. But there's a catch: according to Jon Abt, of Abt Electronics in Chicago, that particular model -- the lfx25961AL -- has been discontinued, precisely why Appliance Factory Outlet can sell it at such a discount.
Manufacturers like LG looked at inventory levels in early summer and took a pro-active measure in unloading soon-to-be discontinued merchandise at big discounts to vendors willing to take it on. There's nothing wrong with the merchandise, it's not used, refurbished or terribly outdated. It's just not the absolute latest and greatest model, and if that doesn't matter, then the deals are indeed big, and available before Black Friday.
"In my opinion, we'll never see this ever again," said Ewing. "Manufacturers are backed up on inventory and everybody wants to have a big November. I don't think (consumers) will ever see lower prices than they will this November."
But buyers beware: many, if not most, of these appliances are discontinued models. No damaged or open box items, but ones that have been replaced with newer versions or discontinued completely.
LG did not respond to WalletPop's request for a confirmation, but Jon Abt, of Abt Electronics in Chicago, told WalletPop in a telephone interview, "Every month, or every few weeks, we get a list of items promotionally available with an additional 10% off whatever the MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) is." This allows retailers like Appliance Factory Outlet to buy up merchandise and advertise below what the manufacturer normally allows and promote super low prices, but the prices aren't going to found at all retailers or all models from manufacturers like LG, advised Abt.
Still, there are deals to be had and even high-end appliance manufacturers like Viking are starting to get promotional, offering bundles, or groups, of products with a rebate or discount. Said Abt, "There are good deals to be had, you've just got to watch what's going on."