I wasn’t up at 3 am on Friday waiting for Best Buy or Walmart to open their doors, but I went shopping for those too-good-to-be-true deals reasonably early. At 8 am I was cruising the aisles of Target, eager to buy a portable DVD player I had seen advertised. When I arrived at the Electronics section, a fence was surrounding the area and dozens of people were yelling trying to get the attentions of the confused staff. At one point one of the Target employees grabbed a megaphone and started listing what was available auction-style. “I have 13, I repeat 13, VIZIO 42″ flat screen TV’s left at the low price of $650!” he said. The people there just went ballistics. “I want one, hey, I want one!,” a woman yelled. After ten minutes, people with huge boxes started leaving and a new group started to come in.
I was in awe. I couldn’t but observe the whole situation. People didn’t question anything, didn’t waiver in their decisions, they just knew they had to buy something, and they had to do it now. If there is a recession going on, people at this Target didn’t seem to notice. It turns out that the TV’s regular price was $699, but because it was Black Friday, people just assumed it was hugely discounted. My portable DVD player, which was already sold out, had a discount of $20.
Evidently, any savings you can get on an item is good, but I can only conclude from my experience that Black Friday is just a label. The same discounts, or better, can be found after Christmas, on Labor Day, Memorial Day, and other dates. The frenzy, the camping outside stores, the fighting for parking spaces and the huge lines are just too stressing and not worth a $20 discount.
Picture from coal-is-dirty.com