Buen Fin: Plenty of Deals but Beware of Scams

Buen Fin Promotion

This year marks the 13th year of the popular Buen Fin retail event held across Mexico. The 2023 edition spans four days, kicking off on November 17 and wrapping up on the 20th.

 

What the heck is Buen Fin?

This popular retail sales event is known for offering discounts across a wide range of products ahead of the Christmas holiday season. Unlike the States where retailers run promotional events throughout the year, there’s really nothing comparable to Buen Fin’s popularity in Mexico.

Retail promotions in Mexico are more limited and coordinated, so when retailers decide to offer discounts it really gets people’s attention. Indeed, it’s estimated that roughly 93% of urban consumers participate in Buen Fin, which is sort of unbelievable when you think about it.

What began as a week-long extravaganza back in 2010 is now condensed into a long weekend retail buying frenzy.

Billed as ‘el fin de semana más barato de México’ (the cheapest weekend in Mexico), Buen Fin is embraced by many Mexican families as a time to buy Christmas gifts on sale, upgrade their wardrobes, and splurge on new appliances if the opportunity presents itself.

Retail savings range from 5% to 50% off on assorted goods both in stores and online, with deals on apparel, footwear, grocery items, alcohol, consumer electronics, toys, and so on.

Some retailers also offer interest-free payment plans for big-ticket purchases such as home appliances during Buen Fin.

Now, if you thought Buen Fin was just a nice way to save boatloads of money on the products you love every November, then you’re imagining a much nicer world than the one we’re living in.

 

Retailer Shenanigans

Alongside the blizzard of deals offered during Buen Fin every year are dubious retail practices I’d liken to Lucy Van Pelt’s handling of a football.

Back in 2021, PROFECO dubbed retailer Chedraui “the king of fake offers” after it was caught raising prices on items intended for Buen Fin promotions in the week leading up to the sale, then discounting them less than the price hike, duping customers into paying more for them instead of less.

Profeco logo

For those unfamiliar with this organization, PROFECO is a government agency established in 1976 as Mexico’s consumer protection watchdog. Over the years, it’s prosecuted some of Mexico’s best-known retailers for fraudulent claims and abusive practices during Buen Fin.

During 2022’s Buen Fin event, PROFECO received more than 200 formal complaints from consumers — ranging from canceled orders to retailers not honoring the product prices advertised. They received many more complaints via their social media accounts.

The categories most often cited in consumer complaints last year were computers, clothing, and footwear. Hewlett Packard Mexico was singled out for the most complaints, followed by Walmart. It’s worth noting that Walmart doesn’t formally participate in Buen Fin, choosing to run a separate promotional event at the same time.

 

How can consumers fight back?

There’s some good news here. Buen Fin’s website offers consumers a way to compare Buen Fin prices of products in high demand.

When visiting this site, simply choose your city and area, and then the product category to see a list of brands and models with pricing details.

If you click on an individual result it will display the retailers offering the product (including street address) with a checkmark next to the store with the lowest price, along with a historical price chart for that item. While I cannot vouch for its accuracy, PROFECO’s site normally receives hundreds of thousands of visitors during the Buen Fin event.

In addition, if you want to file a complaint against a retailer during Buen Fin, you can call PROFECO at 55 5568 8722 or 800 468 8722 during the four days of the event.

 

2023 Buen Fin

To see who is participating this year and what sorts of deals are being offered you can download the official mobile app in the iPhone or Google app store. Just search for “El Buen Fin 2023” or check out who’s participating by visiting this website.

 

Conclusion

For those still excited by the possibility of reaping big savings on items rarely discounted here in Mexico, I have some advice.

Create a brief “hit list” of items you most want or need and do your reconnaissance early. Check out pre-sale pricing on these items so that you can decide for yourself whether the Buen Fin deals are worth putting up with horrible traffic and long lines associated with an event shopped by 93% of your fellow urban residents.

Because I detest long lines and chaotic crowds in general, I’m reluctant to participate in the annual Buen Fin retail scrum. On the other hand, if that washing machine I need is on a fire sale… I might just dive in anyway.

About Live Well Mexico

My name is Dawn Stoner. In 2022, my family sold our house and half of our possessions, then relocated to Guadalajara, Mexico. We now live here full-time.

Since then, we’ve learned how to navigate the real estate market, deal with the Mexican bureaucracy, and manage our finances as expats… all while having a pretty fine time!

I created this blog to help newcomers solve the everyday challenges of living in Mexico, because it isn’t easy figuring all this out for yourself.

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