Black Friday Holiday Shopping – Is It Real Or A Myth? Where Can I Save The Most Money For Christmas?

October 29th, 2007 | by MG | (Visited 40,010 times)

Shopping on Black FridayBlack Friday is huge business. Every year, if you pay attention to the news and media, you’ll find early bird deals which cause lines to form the night (or nights) before, while folks eagerly await the chance to spend more money on great deals for Christmas, Chaunnukah, and other “End of the Year” holidays and celebrations.

Having been a forwarder of emails on this stuff for years, I did a little research this year to bring you a comprehensive list on Black Friday savings as well as some background on whether or not Black Friday is really all that it’s cracked up to be.

The Black Friday Coupon And Sales Savings Rundown

Ok, first off there are some authoritative sites on Black Friday that seem to be just giving the straight skinny. From what I’ve seen so far, it looks like the following shops will be participating this year. There may be more but this is what I’ve got so far:

AAFES, AceHardware.com, Amazon.com, Bass Pro Shops, BestBuy, Big Lots, BJ’s, Boscovs, Buy.com, Circuit City, CompUSA, Costco, CVS, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Disney Store, EBgames, Fred’s, FYE, GameStop, Harbor Freight, Home Depot, Ikea, JC Penney, JoAnn Fabrics, J&R, KBtoys.com, Kmart, Kohls, Lane Bryant, Linens-N-Things, Macys, Meijer, Menards, Micro Center, Newegg.com, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Old Navy, Overstock.com, Pacific Sunwear, PepBoys, Radio Shack, Ritz Camera, Sam’s Club, Sears, ShopKo, Staples, Target, TigerDirect, Tommy Hilfiger, Toys R Us, Toys R Us Big Toy Book, Tractor Supply Company, Value City, Walgreens, and Walmart

Black Friday Savings Sites

BlackFriday.info – Very simple interface, big text, and graphics and links to stores offering deals and sales.

BFAds.com – Titled Black Friday 2007, these guys seem ready for the onslaught of Black Friday updates.

Black Friday @ GottaDeal.com – Message board with updates and communications on sales around the nation as well as news and some help getting set for a shopping spree.

The Black Friday – Featured on the major news networks (FOX, MSNBC, etc.), this is one I’ve used last year and one that I found helpful.

How To Save Money While Shopping On Black Friday

You can find a store with some sales and hang outside when the lines form, but that’s old-tech. New school shoppers know that there are some key ways to save time (which is as good as money during this time) when getting all the deals on Black Friday.

MSNBC has 10 tips to make shopping on the day after Thanksgiving a little easier:

(paraphrased)
1. It’s OK to do nothing. In fact, if you steer clear of stores entirely that day, you’ll have plenty of company.

2. You can always shop on the Internet. Stop and think of the myriad benefits: no crowds, no lines, no need to change out of your pajamas.

3. If you must brave the crowds, be prepared. You’re really going to head out there? Then this isn’t a time for messing around. This is a time for strategizing!

4. Be a savvy shopper. You can rise above the Friday fray by doing some homework in advance about products that really interest you this year – especially if they’re big-ticket items.

5. Distinguish between deals and duds. To ensure you’ll be getting an actual bargain rather than a ho-hum or too-high price, visit Web sites such as BizRate.com, Shopping.com and PriceGrabber.com.

6. Decide how early you’ll arrive, and plan accordingly. Can’t resist the urge to stand in line in the dark before your favorite store opens at 5 a.m.? Then remember to dress comfortably.

7. Make friends with people in line. A spirit of camaraderie will not only make the long, dark wait more pleasant — it also could prove to be a godsend if you must give up your place in line so you can run to the bathroom.

8. Pick the right shopping buddy. Unless you want to bicker and feel frustrated all day, think hard about who would get into the spirit of a shopping day like this.

9. Shop with a list. You’ll feel more in control and focused if you head out with a list of the people you’re shopping for, the gift ideas you have in mind for them and the target price range for each item.

10. Bring the ads you found. If you saw an advertised special that really impressed you, bring the ad along to avoid any disputes over how much an item is supposed to cost on Friday.

Personal Finance Advice also has some tips to outsmart the competition this year:

The problem is that most shoppers start in the wrong place. They make the assumption that the Black Friday deals are found in the Black Friday advertisements. While this may seem like common sense, it’s a convenient distraction that allows Mark to have much less competition. As Mark pointed out with emphasis a number of times during our discussion, “the Black Friday deals are found in the store’s return policy.”

Is Black Friday Real Or Just A Marketing Gimmick?

I’m a natural skeptic so while doing a bit of research this weekend, I found some great points over at the online mythbusters themselves, Snopes.com:

Claim:   The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S.
Status:   False.

Origins:   The day after Thanksgiving is the day millions of Americans, enjoying a rare Friday off (and a dearth of football games on television), head for the malls to kick off the Christmas shopping season. “Black Friday” (as it is known in the retail industry, supposedly because it’s the day when retailers turn the corner and see their income statements move out of the red and into the black, or it’s the day when retail workers are exposed to the worst crowds and customer behavior) is regularly cited as “the busiest shopping day of the year.” But although Black Friday may be the day the greatest number of holiday shoppers traipse through malls, it isn’t necessarily the biggest day of the year in terms of dollars spent:

Popular belief has it that the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year.

These days many shoppers buy with the holidays in mind all year long. Decorations go up around Halloween, and some Santa Clauses arrive at malls before Thanksgiving. Some shoppers get an early start Thursday at a limited number of stores like Kmart and Wal-Mart Super Centers, which are open on the holiday. To be sure, there are still intense crowds on the day after Thanksgiving — led by the “doorbusters” who show up at dawn for early-bird sales.

“It’s one of the busiest days in terms of traffic but not in sales,” said Pam Rucker, spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. “But the mystique is still there.”



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5 Comments

Comment by bcool
Oct 29, 2007 11:02 AM

One thing I’ve noticed lately particularly with electronics is that they won’t have that model available prior to Black Friday. They may have a similar model for sale but the rock bottom deal is on the model that they will be selling on Black Friday. By doing this, the stores avoid almost all the tricks mentioned in the article.

 
Comment by jrock
Oct 29, 2007 11:02 AM

you know what would be simpler? avoiding the lines and parking NIGHTMARE altogether and just waiting til *after* the holidays.

i love getting a deal, but there comes a point in time when saving a few bucks is just not worth the trouble.

 
Comment by n8
Oct 29, 2007 11:03 AM

I ventured out on black friday last year. I intended on getting a $400 laptop, which I did get. The laptop was on sale at Wal*Mart. What I did was I found a Wal*Mart Supercenter in a small rural community not far from the big city I lived in, I figured this would increase my odds of getting said laptop, since each store was only getting 10 laptops. I was the first one to purchase the laptop that day and many of the locals had no clue that Wal*Mart was even selling a decent laptop at a cheap price. They were to busy stocking up on the GBA SPs that were going for $50 a pop.

Needless to say that was the only time I have been shopping on a black friday and it was the last. I will never go through that again. The crowds were rude and inconsiderate.

 
Comment by Kaitlen
Oct 29, 2007 11:03 AM

I’m trying the “buy now and price match later” thing at best buy. I’m going to show up early on BF though. If they don’t price match it i’ll buy the item then and there, go home, return it, and get my money back. I called someone in the home office department and they said it would be ok to price match it on black friday so i also will raise hell that someone lied to me. He said i would just have to actually come in while the sale was effective (black friday and saturday).

 
Comment by ASBob
Oct 29, 2007 11:04 AM

Thanks for posting this.

Now I can sleep in for sure, as nothing will be available. All the stores will have changed their policies to combat the return/price matching tactics by Black Friday and the employees will be told to sweep through the store before opening to find the hidden items.

 

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