Black Friday pricing fluctuations – how do small stores compete?

Black Friday isn’t just a US holiday and it’s not even just one day. People all over the world look for bargains the entire week of US Thanksgiving and into what’s now known as Cyber Monday. According to Forbes, Consumer spending over the Black Friday weekend is expected to increase by 47% from the same period in 2016.

It’s amazing how the day of the week, time of day, and proximity to holidays can all yield a significant fluctuation in Black Friday pricing on Target™,™, Walmart™, and eBay™. Smaller online and physical stores need to stay on top of changing prices to compete.

For instance, imagine you have a small or medium sized toy store. How do you make sure you are competitively priced for the biggest time of the year? You could scan through pages and pages of toy listings, manually recording prices on a daily basis, or you could use to automatically extract the data, record the pricing, and provide a change report on what prices have increased or decreased.

As a small-scale example, here’s what I discovered by tracking prices of Target™ hot toys 2017 Christmas the week of US Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Here’s the website:


I set up an Change Report to be emailed hourly as both a PDF and Excel spreadsheet. Not much changed between Wednesday and Saturday, but by Sunday, several items changed. Notice the Madden NFL 18 – Xbox One increase in price to $59.99.

Black Friday pricing


On Monday, I was alerted by an emailed Change Report that the Madden NFL 18 – Xbox One had been marked down to $39.99.


This is a very small example of how a toy retailer can track Black Friday pricing from the big guys hourly, daily, weekly, or ad-hoc. The same reports can be run on multiple retail websites to inform pricing decisions.