To brave or not to brave: Black Friday shopping
November 18, 2010
Black Friday is the biggest day of the year for bargain-hungry shoppers as they wake up before sunrise to compete with hundreds of people in hopes of getting that dream Christmas present. Retailers mark down prices at irresistible low prices to get people out the day after Thanksgiving and boost their sales. Black Friday is a tradition for some families and friends; however, others think it is something that takes people away from Thanksgiving and all for which they should be thankful.
Vanessa Brackett, sophomore pre-counseling major said, “I think Black Friday takes away from the Thanksgiving holiday, as well as Christmas. It is a national sale day where stores want to make profits, and people hungry for deals spend entirely too much money.”
Brackett, who is not a fan of Black Friday, said she only shops on Black Friday if there is a really good deal on something.
“Family time is taken away from by the idea of shopping on Black Friday,” Brackett said. “It begins by looking through the ads on Thanksgiving Day ready to go buy more stuff instead of being thankful for what you have already.”
Whitney Moore, sophomore early childhood education major, said she isn’t a big fan of the chaotic shopping day either.
“Some people spend Thanksgiving Day as a way to find new deals and map out a plan instead of being thankful for the things they already have,” Moore said.
Although Black Friday isn’t for everyone, for some it is a family tradition. Melanie Cabaniss, sophomore occupational therapy major, spends time fighting the crowds every year with her mom.
“I think Thursday [Thanksgiving Day] offers plenty of time to spend with family and watch football. Getting up early with my mom is bonding time, and we both enjoy going together,” Cabaniss said.
Christie Clark, a sophomore cross cultural ministry major, said “Growing up, my dad and I always went shopping on Black Friday. It was our tradition. You can find some of the greatest deals, and buy something that you normally would not be able to afford.”
Clark can no longer go home for Thanksgiving since she moved to college, so she can no longer go shopping with her dad on Black Friday.
“Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and on Friday its CHRISTMAS TIME. The Macy's Thanksgiving day parade brings Santa into town, so I think its fair game to start with Christmas,” Clark said.
Experts offer advice on how to get the best bargains on Black Friday.
According to Donna Montaldo from about.com:
Check out the ads – Your local Thanksgiving Day newspaper will be stuffed like your Thanksgiving turkey with ads, coupons, and circulars. This will be your number one source to local Black Friday savings. It will also help you organize your day to maximize savings, since many stores offer special discounts that are time specific.
Do your research before Friday – If you are hoping to scoop up a deal on Friday on a big-ticket item, go ahead and get your research out of the way as soon as possible. A bad product is a bad deal no matter how cheap it costs. Being knowledgeable about the products you want to buy will help you avoid being sucker-punched with loud advertising for poor products.
Compare prices - Utilize price-comparison Internet shopping sites such as PriceGrabber.com to assist you in comparing product prices. Compare the "options" included with the product. Some retailers will low-ball the advertised price on a stripped down product, and then you will be charged extra for the necessary parts that will make the product perform as expected.
Look for early bird shopping discounts – The Early Bird Shopper will be the real winner on Black Friday. Stores offering early-day shopper specials usually run the deals from 5 a.m. until 11 a.m. and with no "rain checks," which means once they run out of the products, you are out of luck. Scanning the ads and routing your trip based on your buying priorities will be important with the time-sensitive deals that will be offered.
Beat the crowds with night owl discounts on Thanksgiving - Internet shoppers can beat the early birds by shopping online in the pre-dawn hours of Black Friday. Many retailers will be posting their Black Friday specials, which can be ordered online and picked-up at your local store. Special "Web only" deals will also be available starting as early as Thanksgiving eve. Many of the the aggressive outlet malls and factory stores will be opening Thursday at midnight, with early bird promotions in hopes of capturing your dollars before the competition has opened.
Bring the ads - Many stores offer a "lowest-price" guarantee; however you may be required to produce a copy of the exact product being advertised for less. Most local retailers will not meet Internet prices even when the product is advertised on the same company's website, but it cannot hurt to try. Print the Web page that details the product and shows the advertised price.
Ask for gift receipts - Gift receipts generally include a description of the item purchased but do not disclose the price paid. Including gift receipts inside the gift box will make returns or exchanges easier for the gift recipient. Without proof-of-purchase, the recipient may be turned down for returning or exchanging the item or risk receiving an exchange for the current selling price of the item.