Finding Click Frenzy 'Cyber Tuesday' Sale Bargains Will Be Tough

Starting at 7pm AEDT on Tuesday November 20 and running for just 24 hours, the Click Frenzy sale site is positioning itself as an Australian alternative to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales which dominate US retailing around Thanksgiving. I'm all for hunting down a bargain, but I'm not entirely convinced that Click Frenzy will deliver bargains to many people. Here are three reasons why.

Picture by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

1. Heavily-hyped sales invariably crash sites

Some reports suggest Click Frenzy is aiming for a million or more visitors. That's an ambitious target, but even if the site achieves just 10 per cent of that, there's bound to be a lot of time-outs and frustrated consumers. The blog for OzBargain (one of Lifeacker's favourite resources for tracking bargains) makes this point very well:

Over here we regularly see e-Commerce sites getting ozbargained with just thousands of clicks. Worse if you get featured on mass media like ACA and TT.

As OzBargain points out, if Google couldn't manage to keep up a site for the Nexus 4 ordering frenzy, what hope does anyone else has?

The Click Frenzy itself argues this won't be a concern: "We know there will be enormous volumes of visitors during Click Frenzy, particularly during the early part of the event, but we have taken every precaution to ensure our servers will not go down, and we have advised our retailers of the traffic volumes they should expect." We'll see.

2. Buying in a hurry is not buying intelligently

In the US, Black Friday catalogues are published weeks in advance, so shoppers queuing up on Thanksgiving evening or Black Friday morning know what they're aiming for. So far, we haven't been given many details of what will be on offer for Click Frenzy. A few details might emerge on the day, but for most people, the first they'll know will be at 7pm.

This creates a dangerous shopping situation: alleged bargains in a high-pressure situation. That doesn't make for good buying. If you spot an item in the Click Frenzy catalogue, you need to take time to assess the pricing. If the site claims a percentage off RRP, do some research to check if anyone ever actually sells at full price. Make sure you factor in postage charges. Don't succumb to the pressure of thinking "the site is finally working, I should buy while I have the chance".

3. We don't know how much each retailer will be offering

The Click Frenzy site boasts of the participation of big name retailers, highlighting Myer, Dick Smith, Dan Murphy's and Target amongst others. But we don't know whether their participation will be store-wide, a single product, or a range of junk no-one in their right mind would buy at any price.

To cite one example: Big Pond Music will be selling any album in its download catalogue at 50 per cent off list price, which is actually a ridiculously good deal. The other deal Telstra will be promoting (via its Big Pond Shopping site) is "50 per cent off selected bed linen", which isn't meaningful until we see the linen on offer.

DEALS ROUNDUP: Click Frenzy Deals Rated: The Good, The Pointless, The Strange

None of that means you shouldn't check out the site when it launches — you might get lucky and score a bargain on something that is actually worth purchasing. But don't count on it.


Comments

    Whoa! Given that Lifehacker regularly publishes pet peeves about misuse of words, I'm surprised to see 'dubious about bargains' being used instead of 'sceptical about bargains'.

    'Dubious' describes something that is dodgy. 'Sceptical' describes the doubt that you have about something that is dodgy.

    To say that you're dubious about something is like saying that you're dodgy, not that you're doubtful.

      Nice catch :)

      Well if we want to be nazi's about it, there's the whole "what hope does anyone else has?" bit...

        *Nazis.
        Sorry, I couldn't resist.

        Nazi's eh?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM

      I liked the more obvious "what hope does anyone else has?"

      Nice catch Greg, except you're wrong.

      Dubious can also be used to descibe one's opinion on a matter.

        Absolutely correct Jackson. I love grammar and cringe when it is misused. However, I am always extremely careful before I try correcting someone. The English language is a funny beast...

      +1
      People in glass houses...

      Dubious seems fine to me:
      du·bi·ous
      1. Hesitating or doubting.
      2. Not to be relied upon; suspect.

      I wish more people would focus on minor grammatical errors in posts rather than the topic being discussed itself.

      I am dubious you know what you're talking about....
      Look up 'dubious' in the dictionary!

    I am sceptical about your dubious grammar checking. I mean really, I see far more grammar and spelling errors on SMH online than I do here at lifehacker. It is the nature of online news.

      +1 Billion

    Personally I'm skeptical of anything in Australia called a sale.

    Half the time I google the item and find that you can buy it at the same price not on sale.

      "We've finally lowered it down to what the rest of the world pays on a bad day!"

      Last Christmas I went to Jb HiFi in the morning to buy the Pacific on BluRay for my Dad. That night JB had a sale 20% off everything. My parents wanted to go down. While their i decided i get The Pacific on BluRay for my girlfriends dad. There was a Giant Sign stuck to the Shelf 20% off yet The Pacific was $10 dearer than it was in the morning. I still had the receipt from that morning in my wallet. I made a huge song and dance in front of everyone complaining about the obvious rort. To keep me quiet and get me out of the store they gave me 50% off.

    [quote]and we have advised our retailers of the traffic volumes they should expect[/quote]
    So, even if (a big IF) manage to get into Click Frenzy, there is a strong possibility we won't be able to get into the retailer's site.

    There may be great bargains, but how many of each item will be on sale? I bet there will be lots of sold out items come the following morning.

    I'm waiting for the aftermath instead.

    Easy, you see a product for a great price at Harvey's for instance, but can't get onto the site. Just go into the store next day and ask for the same product at the same price. My theory is if they can offer it for sale at that price on Tuesday, why can't they sell for that price on Wednesday? And if they don't match it, simple just walk out. I get sick of these, Super Saturday sales, when on Sunday, everything is back to rip off prices. As a consumer, if I lived without it on Friday, and they can't match it on Sunday, i'm sure I'll still be alive without it on Monday.

    I was caught out once by these "almost scams".. wasted a day.. never again. This one will come and pass and I'll just eat my popcorn and watch the fall out. After the last one, I went and did some research into them.. and there some pretty scathing reports from people on the inside to be told.

    I just want a discounted Microsoft surface RT

      Just wait till the surface pro comes out and you'll find a million discounted surface RTs!

    People are pretty obvious when thinking about URLs and searching for 'click frenzy' on some of the sites comes up with some results.

    http://www.teds.com.au/click-frenzy
    http://dicksmith.com.au/clickfrenzy/t/
    http://danmurphys.com.au/dm/search/dm_search_results.jsp?searchterm=click%5Cu0020frenzy
    http://www.theiconic.com.au/clickfrenzy/
    http://www.bigbrownbox.com.au/clickfrenzy/
    http://www.mwave.com.au/catalog/clickfrenzy

      We're rounding up deals here http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2012/11/click-frenzy-deals-the-good-the-pointless/

    Google Nexus 7 on Mwave. ClickFrenzy!!! Only $259.99. Or $244 in the decidedly unfrenzied OfficeWorks. What a bargain!

    Telstra will be promoting (via its Big Pond Shopping site) is “50 per cent off selected bed linen”
    wait .. what?
    I think I might pop down to my Westpac branch to buy some toothpaste

    And this is why Australian retailers ruin themselves. Huge hype and claimed bargains, but when you have a look there is nothing of interest. Old stock or discounted stock with UP TO 2% off. Waste of time.

    "The Click Frenzy itself argues this won’t be a concern: “We know there will be enormous volumes of visitors during Click Frenzy, particularly during the early part of the event, but we have taken every precaution to ensure our servers will not go down, and we have advised our retailers of the traffic volumes they should expect.” We’ll see. "

    1901 Hours and it's dead as a dodo. Nice Work!

      PING clickfrenzy.com.au (113.192.44.39): 56 data bytes
      Request timeout for icmp_seq 0
      Request timeout for icmp_seq 1
      Request timeout for icmp_seq 2
      Request timeout for icmp_seq 3
      Request timeout for icmp_seq 4
      Request timeout for icmp_seq 5
      Request timeout for icmp_seq 6
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      Request timeout for icmp_seq 9
      Request timeout for icmp_seq 10

    So much for click frenzy site crash suprise suprise

    Well, Angus, seems like your first point is right, so far. I have been trying to get onto the click frenzy site from 7pm AEDT on the dot, for the past 30 minutes with no luck at all. Seems like myer and dicksmith are down as well.

    You didn't need a crystal ball to be right on this one...but you are right. Crashed site = more disappointment for Aussie shoppers surfing web 1.0.

    Sceptical, yes that I was. Now a little disappointed as I have been trying to take a look at what is on offer and as mentioned previously the site has crashed.

    Oh - well picked up Lifehacker. Tears all round assumed, as no one can buy or sell a thing with the Click Frenzy website down.

    Tried to believe in click frenzy total let down bet no retailer made $1

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