Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, is the biggest shopping day of the year. Last year, consumers spend over $11.4 billion dollars on this day alone.
It is estimated that 152 million shoppers went to retail stores on Black Friday (remember, there are only 311 million people in the United States, so that is almost 50% of all people living in the US). So, what is it about this day that draws so many people out to shop? Is it the deals?
Is it the allure of being out there (some people have made this a tradition)? Let’s look at whether shopping on Black Friday is a deal, or bust.
The Black Friday Deal
Everyone knows about the deals that retailers offer on Black Friday. They offer TVs at 50% off (or more), or cameras and rock bottom prices. There are also all types of toys and housewares products at incredible discounts. If you want a great deal, shopping on Black Friday may get you some great prices.
Many retailers also offer Black Friday online deals, so you can skip the crowd and elbowing. However, they tend to go just as fast as the store items, so make sure you are staying on top of it.
You can get online deals and online coupons any time you want, but, somehow the deepest discounts are offered on Black Friday. We bought our LCD TV from Wal-Mart on Black Friday. The TV still runs fine and it was bought almost at 50% discount to the market price. We definitely scored on that day.
So does thousand of others on this day, otherwise getting 50% of citizens out of their bed one morning is not an easy job.
The Hidden Truth About Black Friday
However, there is another side to Black Friday that many people forget about because they get caught up in the deals. Here are some things to consider beyond the amazing prices. Some of it I expressed in this previous Black Friday post, where, in an imaginary story, I tried explaining how for most the Black Friday sell is not worth it.
Let’s see few of the hard-facts which makes Black Friday deals not so extra ordinary.
The Brands/Prices: First, you are usually getting an amazing price on a so-so brand. Yes the brand of my TV is Polaroid, they stopped making TV afterwards.
Most of the best prices are reserved for cheap, in-house brands and may not be so great. The TVs in every retailers’ ad are usually specially made for Black Friday for that retailer. You can tell because they have an odd model numbers from the regular series.
The Quantities: The next thing to remember is that quantities are limited. That hot TV or camera will probably only have 50 to 100 units at each store. If you’re not one of the first in line, you’re probably not going to be able to get the best price. And retailers won’t substitute, since, like we mentioned above, they are unique items just for Black Friday.
The Lines: Along with the quantities, you have to deal with the lines. People know there are only a few of each item, and so they start lining up on Thanksgiving Day. Many people wait 12+ hours to be the first in line at each store. Then, even once you get your items, you usually have to wait in huge checkout lines to buy your items.
Not many are prepared to spend 2 -5 hours to score a $100 deal. Any time you visit a mall you can expect to see at least 20% sell being offered at brand name stores. Off-course there are exceptions but, not many to count on.
The Future: Finally, Black Friday many not even have the best deals of the season. For many products, the week leading up to Christmas usually has prices just as competitive as Black Friday, especially on other non-electronics items.
Also, retailers have been trying to spread the Black Friday “magic” over several weeks, and so many offer great deals leading into Black Friday or the week after Black Friday. Look for ads such as “Lowest Price of the Season” or “Lowest Price Ever”, and you know that it is the best price the retailer will offer.
The bottom line is, that unless you’re willing to wait overnight outside of a store, Black Friday is probably going to be more bust than bang. Even though you sacrifice sound sleep to grab a door buster, it probably not worth your time.
Readers, I stated my opinion here. Please tell us about your views on Black Friday deals. Do you think its worth the effort and time? Or, do you think it’s a bust? Eager to know about it.