New Revelations on the Black Friday After-Thanksgiving Day SaleSubmit to del.icio.us | digg it! | Submit to Slashdot
It’s been exactly 4 years since I first wrote about Black Friday in 2005 (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V). Nevertheless, those memoirs are still my most popular articles across all my websites every October and November. While this annual resurgence may be indicative of the continuous validity of my prior claims, I’ve learned that my pointers aren’t so timeless after 4 years. These days, I don’t participate in Black Friday Sales.
What The ^&*(!?
Now, don’t immediately start writing hate comments. Hear (or read) me out.
eBay, FatWallet, and SlickDeals
It all started when I began to frequent these three sites. I asked myself, “Why should I wait once a year to go bonkers over discounts?”
With FatWallet and SlickDeals, I receive daily notifications on the hottest bargains online. Most of these bargains rival Black Friday deals. Just last week, SlickDeals announced that Dell was selling netbooks with 6-cell batteries for $183 (No Tax, Free S+H)!
With eBay, a program texts my phone or emails me immediately after a seller lists a BIN (Buy-It-Now) item within my price range. That same program also works with actual auctions. I target those ending in 5 minutes that fit within my price range so I can snipe them.
The benefits are simple. All of these discount venues compare to and even rival Black Friday deals and they don’t require you to set a foot outside your home, not to mention outside in the cold at 3AM.
Black Friday was popular in 2005. Now, it’s a household word. A quick look at Google News from 2000-2008 shows a more-than-linear increase in the number of Black Friday-related news articles.
Compound that data with the recession. In the “New Economy,” retailers are less able to competitively slash their prices. Coupled with the sharp rise in people looking for a steal, the supply of good deals do not satisfy the demand.
It doesn’t make sense to participate in Black Friday when the deal-hunting mob goes up while the number of good deals goes down.
New Tip for Disenfranchised Black Friday Shoppers
Despite my “naysaying,” I know there are obstinate readers out there who will still participate in the Black Friday fray. Hell, I’ll even look in the Thanksgiving Circulars at Bfads.net for old time’s sake …of course, just to see what I’m not missing. Who can say no to the thrill of waiting in the cold, early in the morning with a triple shot Starbucks latte? For those who aren’t in it for the thrill but just the deal, I’ve got a tip for you.
It’s no secret that Black Friday sales circulars are both inadvertently and intentionally leaked to the public. So, what do you do with this early information?
- Plan: This is the most obvious. Good deals aren’t only limited to Friday. Thanksgiving week sales occur the weekend before, the weekend after Thanksgiving, the week of, the day before, the day of, and/or the day after. Defer purchases and space them out. Divide and conquer.
- Buy: I call this a “reverse rain check.” Instead of hiding the merchandise, buy it 1-3 days prior to the sale. If the sale is at a major retailer like Staples, chances are that they have a Price Guarantee Policy. Staples says
“If you find a lower price anywhere else on a new identical item, just show us the lower price when you buy the item at Staples and we will match the price, or within 14 days of your Staples purchase and we will give you the difference.”
Even better, pay with a credit card that carries its own Price Guarantee Policy. That way, you’ll have a backup plan in case your “sale” doesn’t work out. My CitiCard American Express says
“If you buy something with your Citi card and then see it advertised in print for less within 60 days, you will receive a refund for the difference up to $250 (excludes Internet purchases and certain items).”
Hide: This “reverse layaway” scheme requires a little ingenuity. Don’t want to waste precious hours at Wal-mart just for that $1 flash drive when you can be waiting in line for that $100 net book? Visit Wally World 1-3 days prior to the sale, stick the merchandise in the baby clothes section, and pray that nobody finds your stash. Anytime on Black Friday, retrieve the goods and head to the checkout smugly.
Good luck on your plans to sleep in at your home or sleep outside at Best Buy on Black Friday morning!
Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2009