Snail Facial Serum with Gold Flakes for $3.20, a litter box for $2.34, and shaped and scented candles like Starbucks Frappuccinos for $5.63. You may not have it on your holiday wishlist, but you can find it on TikTok Shop, which is already offering deep discounts ahead Black Friday.
TikTok Shop’s Black Friday deals started at the end of October. And there’s a mind-boggling array of products with deep discounts. You can get 50% off beauty products, coupons offering 15, 20, and 25% off orders, and 30% off coupons with no minimum spend for new buyers. The app’s 200,000 sellers can also choose items to benefit from discounts on the store, thus creating their own markdowns, which can be further subsidized by discounts from TikTok.
While Black Friday sales at other major retailers will be full of big brands, on TikTok Shop it’s a real mixed bag. Large, established retailers are mixed in with indistinguishable third-party sellers selling brand-name beauty and home goods. There are “crunchcups” or takeaway cups that hold cereal and milk separately, a small wall safe disguised as a light switch, an “anti-anxiety” collar and a dog umbrella.
These odds and ends all come from sellers looking to break in and make money on Black Friday. And they have the chance to win big: Small businesses can see a flood of interest overnight if their products take off. Tic Tac attempts to do what other social apps have tried and failed: make a social shopping splash, just in time for the holiday season.
For small sellers, it’s TikTok’s biggest asset — the way it connects people to products — that can be a blessing or a curse. If an article goes viral, it creates unprecedented demand. Paul Jauregui, co-founder of BK Beauty with his wife Lisa, says the TikTok Shop model fits their cosmetics brand perfectly: Lisa got her start on YouTube with makeup tutorials, and they relied on network marketing social media to find customers.
But BK Beauty’s brushes do almost too well. Between the launch of TikTok Shop and mid-November, the company sold more than 30,000 brushes. Jauregui says this has almost tripled their business. “As demand starts to really take off, that puts a lot of pressure on our inventory,” he says. “It’s a good problem, but at the end of the day, it’s a problem.” Jauregui says BK Beauty has discounted brushes, but TikTok Shop subsidizes prices more, leading to these big markdowns people are seeing. TikTok did not provide a figure when asked how much of seller prices it subsidized.