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Now’s the Time to Buy That Balenciaga Bag

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Luxury brands are actually on sale for once.

A shopper walks by a designer store window Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Turns out you might have gotten a better Black Friday deal shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue than Macy’s this year. The luxury market, usually notorious for conserving high prices to protect brands’ perceived value, was actually proportionally the most heavily discounted during the annual retail bonanza, according to data from retail technology and analytics company Edited reported in Business of Fashion.

From an analysis of 11,000 brands and retailers, Edited found that 46 percent of all products in the US luxury market are currently on discount, compared with 24 percent in the mid-priced market and 20 percent of mass market on Black Friday — which may explain why you might have spent hours perusing the Net-a-Porter sale while making it through Zara’s in about five minutes. There were more discounts across the board, and markdowns were even steeper than in 2016. Yet even with the low prices, we managed to spend a record amount this year: more than $14 billion online between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, per Adobe research.

But while we’re used to seeing huge markdowns on products like television sets and kids’ toys, discounts on high-end handbags and outerwear are a less expected phenomenon. Yet for 2017, brands like Tom Ford, Prada, and Balenciaga — all of which regularly price their wares well above $1,000 — had dozens of products on sale on their own websites and on wholesale e-commerce stores. (This python Tom Ford bag, for instance, is $925, down from $1,850.)

And because we now live in an age when Cyber Monday lasts basically until the end of the year, other markdowns kicked off the first week of December, and are still going strong across the board. Even today, a full three weeks after Black Friday, high-end retailers are awash in deep discounts: Net-a-Porter’s sale section includes more than a hundred pieces by The Row, Neiman Marcus has Raf Simons’s first Calvin Klein collection at up to 70 percent off, and Farfetch has boots by Chloé and bags by Balenciaga for a (relative) steal.

While brands are likely not thrilled about the trend — ideally, they want to sell everything at full price — for shoppers, it’s an opportunity to splurge responsibly.