Watch out for price hikes and fake sales ahead of Black Friday

Surface Pro 8 Hero Profile
Surface Pro 8 Hero Profile (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Black Friday is on Nov. 26, 2021.
  • Ahead of Black Friday, some retailers will raise their prices to make deals look better later on.
  • Some sites will claim items are discounted when in reality, you aren't getting the best deal.

Black Friday is a great time to pick up your favorite gadgets and gizmos at a discount. Unfortunately, some retailers resort to shady and misleading tactics to make deals look more alluring. Leading up to Black Friday, some sites will raise prices so that they can "lower" them later on. Additionally, some listings will claim that they are offering you a deal when in reality, the same item was at a lower price just a few weeks ago.

These strategies aren't exclusive to Black Friday shopping, but they're more prevalent this time of year. As such, we wanted to share a quick PSA and to provide some advice on how to avoid fake deals and price hikes.

Follow our dedicated deals team

Surface Pro 8 Vs Surface Pro 7 Compare

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

At Windows Central and all of our sibling sites, there are deals teams that check out the best discounts on your favorite gear. We follow the advice in this article and keep track of prices throughout the year. If you're on the hunt for a device this holiday season, make sure to check out our guides on the best Black Friday Microsoft Surface deals, best Black Friday Xbox Series X deals, and more. We keep our guides up to date and write spotlight deals that help you save money.

Ask the camel

Camelcamelcamel is a handy tool that lets you check the historical pricing of an item. The site is geared toward Amazon listings, but it also has pricing data for other sites.

Let's look at a specific example to show the value of camelcamelcamel. The Microsoft Arc Mouse is currently "on sale" for $44.37 through Amazon. The list price of this item is $69.99. Because of this, you may believe that you're saving $25.62. That's true, in a sense, but you aren't really getting the best deal if you buy an Arc Mouse right now.

Hop on over to camelcamelcamel, and you'll see that the very same Amazon listing for the Arc Mouse was only $34.99 a couple of months ago. The Arc Mouse has even gone up in price compared to a few weeks ago. While I can't guarantee that the Arc Mouse will dip down near $35 again, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Black Friday sale on the device for less than its current price.

Get a guarantee

Best Buy store

Source: Best Buy (Image credit: Source: Best Buy)

Since people are cautious about purchasing items in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, Best Buy has a guarantee for discounted items. Essentially, items that go on sale leading up to Black Friday are guaranteed to be at their best price. In the rare event that an item does drop in price, Best Buy will refund you the difference. The retailer outlines the fine print of the guarantee on its website. Make sure to read up on the terms and conditions to ensure that you get the best price on anything you purchase through Best Buy ahead of Black Friday.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at