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Black Friday Shopping Tips

Nov13

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You may not know this but there’s a whole slew of people who, after eating a feast on Thanksgiving, get up in the wee hours the following morning to start shopping. The day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest shopping days of the year and has been called Black Friday since some time in the 1970’s.
Stores often make drastic markdowns on this day, especially on electronics and toys which are expected to be highly sought after over the holiday season.
I love finding a good deal, I’ve been known to keep a clearance tag inside my shoe just so I can remind myself how I got them for 50% off. In that way I can relate to finding great deals on Black Friday and can imagine how someone might drag themselves to the mall at 6 o’clock in the morning (or earlier). That cheap part of myself will forever be trumped by the part of me who likes to sleep as long as humanly possible. There’s also the part of me that starts mumbling mean things under my breath when shoved into large crowds of people. (My recent visit to New York City was great for that particular part of me.)
I will not be shopping on Black Friday but maybe you’re nicer than me or maybe you enjoy the hustle of the first official day of the holiday shopping season or maybe you like to suffer in the name of a bargain. I am not here to judge, I am here to help you.
blackfridayad.jpgBlack Friday circulars are usually sent out in newspapers the Wednesday before Thanksgiving but there are inevitable ‘leaks’ of information. The site, aptly called, “Black Friday Ads” does just what it says. Finds and publishes Black Friday circulars well before the big day. They’ve already got so many posted but I’ve particularly enjoyed the Lowe’s Black Friday ad (house nerd), Target Black Friday and Best Buy’s Black Friday circulars.
fishingfordeals.jpgSome stores are (not surprisingly) sending cease and desist letters to sites publishing these ads early. You’ve got two choices, read the site obsessively or look for word of mouth conversation once the ads are pulled. Fishing For Deals is a forum site where every day people share great deals on the web and in brick and mortar stores, I’m quite fond of their Catch Of The Day forum. They also have a Black Friday forum, but you have to have a free membership to view the list.
buynothingday.jpgThere’s a push from a whole other group of people asking people to buy nothing this year on Black Friday, calling it Buy Nothing Day. In its 15th year, social activists and other concerned citizens have decided to opt out of the hype of holiday shopping, at least for one day. The movement is aimed at helping our consumer culture remember that the biggest reason for our current environmental crisis is the simple fact that we consume too much.
As Kalle Lasn of the AdBusters foundation says: “Buy Nothing Day isn’t just about changing your routine for one day. It’s about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment. With over six billion people on the planet, it is the responsibility of the most affluent – the upper 20% that consumes 80% of the world’s resources – to set out on a new path.”
Okay but Mr Lasn, how can I say no to just one $55 camcorder?

About the author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa's Buzz Off.


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4 Responses to “Black Friday Shopping Tips”

  1. Meghan Nov 13 at 10:53 am Reply

    You’re not alone Melissa. I paid $4.95 for a $70 dress from the Gap that I wore for my High School graduation. The tag has a permanent place of honor in my jewelery box.
    Last year was my first Black Friday experience, waking up at 5am to pay $99 for a quality pre-lit tree seemed like a reasonable sacrifice at the time. The tree is very nice and it was *kind* of fun to do something so ridiculous while we were sleep deprived and suffering from Turkey hangover. I’ll have to check out the Black Friday circulars, but it will take something really awesome to pull me out of bed this year.

  2. kate Nov 13 at 9:59 pm Reply

    My Black Friday ritual started when I was but a child – I was the only one who would get up early to go out with my dad. He would reward me with breakfast (always a treat!) and his love of The Deal. Now I’m on my own, I still go out early (mostly just for the sales at JoAnn and Michaels since I’m a craft nut and that crap is expensive) and my dad still treats me to breakfast.

  3. virginia Nov 14 at 8:33 pm Reply

    I almost died on Black Friday in 1999. Ok – not really but it was a close thing. My youngest sister had convinced all of the “girls” to go out shopping – we left at the god-forsaken hour of 4:30 am! My only goal was to get a Pokemon Yellow game for my son. I was successful thanks to my sister but hours of tussles with other shoppers and listening to my sister threaten to open a can of whoopass if a woman didn’t “backup off us and stop trying to cut line” scarred me for life. I haven’t been shopping on the day after Thanksgiving since then.

  4. Nancy R Nov 17 at 6:48 pm Reply

    I’ve gotten some of those Black Friday Ad deals at the online stores as well.

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