It’s Black Friday! If you’re outside the U.S. you may not know the “fun” that is Black Friday.

Most countries don’t engage in the hoard shopping frenzy that many in the U.S. do to get some of the best prices of the year on merch they think they need or want. But some countries are starting to. England, for example, has started to embrace the last Friday in November as a Black Friday shopping day. (See Sidebar). Funny tho, not to the extreme of the use as one would expect as this tweet seems to show. 

 

 

 

France is just starting to embrace the concept of a Black Friday (see sidebar). Most French people don’t even know what Black Friday is, but in similar fashion are heading out to get those bargain deals. And the French shopping culture is more subdued than their American counter-part. By law, there are only two sales periods allowed, one in summer and another in January. The law states that shops are are not allowed to make loss-making sales regardless of the time of year or sales periods. Probably something the U.S. should adopt.

 

 

Is it worth all the lead-up, anticipation, long lines, fighting over the deals and getting a piece of the action?

No, and Yes.

The psychology behind Black Friday deals will always point toward Yes.  Shoppers can’t resist deals. And many of the deals are good, as long as you are savvy, watch the ads, check prices online and be smartful in your shopping. But hey, who’s gonna do that when there are all these specials pop up.

Black Friday used to be something special back when it was only on the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. A rush to get to the store first to get that one of a kind deal that those first in line would get. 

Black Friday was essentially the official start to the Christmas buying season on the day after Thanksgiving which is held on the 4th Thursday of November.

Sometimes it’s only 4 weekends until Christmas from Black Friday and sometimes 5 weekends!

Retailers really love Black Friday when it falls on a day that is 5 weekends away from Christmas. And why not? That means one extra weekend of shoppers buying stuff.

Black Friday typically shows stores as more profitable for the year with sales finally being in the black on the accounting ledger and keeps the store alive for another year. But now Black Friday deals start earlier and earlier in the year. Some even have had Black Friday deals in July! So no longer do you have to queue in long lines and fight for the deals you want.

For the truly big day, stores have been gearing up — setting out the Black Friday box deals, overstock, price jacks, price reductions and more for weeks. Many stores are now open on Thanksgiving, where one can get pre-black Friday deals. And just look at all the ads!

TVs, game consoles, toys clothes, kitchen appliances, home improvement, movies… That one day, days, weeks, leading up to Christmas that get you what you THINK is the best deals of the year! Every day leading up to the actual Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. we are inundated with specials and deals and those “one of a kind”, “limited supplies only” deals that you can only get on black Friday. There might be a Sunday only deal before Black Friday. Or Thanksgiving day only. Saturday only. So watch carefully, as you don’t have to wait or do all your shopping on that one day, in the wee hours of the morning.


You can avoid the crowd fighting and get those deals early or later. Here’s an example. We wanted a new 4K TV. We did research and price watching for the 4K TV we wanted to get. In our area, we have Meijers stores that offered the LG 65” TV for 800 dollars — well, 799.99, but only on Thursday — Thanksgiving day. No problem, it’s a really good deal, right? 

So the gamble was to wait until that 1 day only sale and get the new TV at a 600 dollar savings below retail, or see if other deals popped up. But hang on — after a little research, Best Buy has the exact same TV and model in stock and ready for pickup at the same price already! And Amazon has this one discounted down too, and ready to go at the same price of ~799 with free shipping. So what makes more sense?  We have additional savings deals with Meijer and  could get it less there, but only on that 1 day sale.   

Then, on Sunday morning, Target sent us this 15% off deal email on TVs. In checking I found Target had  the exact same model of TV we were after for 799, plus 15% off on Sunday.  We;re also red card users so we’d get another 5% off! I checked the online stock, and found they had 3 in stock at the closest store, so no brainer! The money was burning a hole in my pocket, and voila! A quick drive, and 15 minutes later I have a new LG 4K 65 inch TV at 20% off to replace my 60 inch Samsung TV for less than the others. So I got this LG-65 inch for $639, plus tax. So around 683 dollars.

No need to get out the lawn chair and wait in a long queue all night at the store and wait for the 6 a.m. deals only to find that the store probably didn’t even have this TV. So I would have wasted time. Meijer’s deal was really good, but it was just lucky enough that there were better deals out there with less hassle. 

This is just one example. Look around, you’ll probably find that most deals on the products you want can be found without having to do the whole Black Friday thing. There are many other examples of deals like this.

So is Black Friday worth running out and queuing up?

If there’s something you want to get, then go out and find it. You’ll probably find that the mass crowds and long waits are not as bad as they used to be. But don’t rush. Take your time and enjoy the experience.

According to the news feeds on Black Friday 2017, the crowds were not as bad as expected. Sure, busier than normal, but most stores are stocked and ready to handle your buying purchases. But in some places, people still camp out to get those deals. You don’t have to. Just take your time, find what you want and you’ll be just fine. 

Now, to get ready for Cyber Monday.

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So is that deal really worth it? Check out these helpful sites into best deals, real deals, fake reviews, coupons and more. 

  • CamelCamelCamel
    • Amazon price tracker. Prices go up and down all the time on Amazon (all retailers, really)  Use it to track prices and see when the best deal is out. 
  • NowInStock 
    • Want to know when the the hottest items are in stock? Check this site out. 
  • Fakespot
    • Products have reviews, and buyers use those reviews to make buying decisions. But are they real, or fake? Use this site to check Amazon, Apple and Yelp/TripAdvisor.
  • RetailMeNot
    • If there’s a coupon or site deal, then you can probably find the code/coupon here to get the best deal on your next online purchase. 
  • TheWirecutter
    • New York Times Wirecutter is a list of the best gear and gadgets for people who want to save the time and stress of figuring out what to buy.
  • Pricegrabber
    • Use Pricegrabber to find some of the best deals on products you want.   

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