Door busting, money saving mayhem.
Black Friday: History of the Mayhem
Black Friday has fallen on the day after Thanksgiving now for over 50 years. In the world of retail this is the Holy Grail of shopping days. The term "Black Friday" was coined in the 1960's to mark the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season. It is referred to as "Black Friday" now because it was the moment when retailers moved from being in the "red" (operating at a loss), to the "black" (starting to make a profit). The term actually originated in Philadelphia where the term was used to describe the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic on the day after Thanksgiving. For millions of us, Black Friday is a day where you can get some serious holiday shopping done, at some serious discounts. Even before the 1960's, since 1924 and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the day after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Every year it seems that retailers have been opening earlier and earlier to help with the massive crowds these promotions draw. Many retailers this year are even opening early Thanksgiving evening. Excitement for these deep discounts reaches a fever pitch at times and violence has actually occurred.
Huge groups of ravenous deal hunters don't always play nice. Throughout the years a lot of violence and even deaths have occurred as a result of these massive discounts. In 2011 a woman pepper sprayed a crowd at a Walmart while trying to get a Nintendo Wii for 60% off. In 2012, again at a Walmart, two people were shot after there was an altercation over a parking space. Not to mention in 2008 when a man was trampled to death just trying to do his job. There is definitely a negative connotation to the term "Black Friday" for a great deal of people.
Black Friday Deals and Urgency
The number one takeaway from Black Friday and the associated advertising is the term "urgency". As upsetting as it is to admit, Black Friday and commercialism has been ingrained in our shopping culture. The hype around "Black Friday" is ridiculous, limited quantity deals, door busters, and other sales sometimes up to 80% off are carefully crafted to show a sense of urgency. Some techniques used this include:
- Advertising crazy low prices on select items, some even selling at a loss to the retailer.
- Offering special deals during limited hours of the day.
- Limiting the quantity of items available throughout the day.
The idea behind this is that most shoppers will buy full priced merchandise along with the highly discounted stuff. The internet has truly taken Black Friday to a whole new level allowing to help customer better plan out their shopping day.
The Consequences of Black Friday
Deep discounts, holiday cheer, and hassle-free shopping. That's what Black Friday is all about right? Not exactly, there is a cost for all of this. Is this consumer excess and addiction to consumer goods healthy? As humans, does this primal behavior that comes out in shoppers including, shoving, rude comments, and overall indecency makes us look good? Many people believe that this costumer culture is making us forget about what is really important during the holiday season. If you have never visited a retail store after Black Friday it is a sight to behold. The carnage left in its wake can be hellish at times.
Internet Joins the Party
The internet was not happy to sit by and let retail stores have all the fun. The term Cyber Monday entered our vocabulary around the year 2005. However, in this short time it has seen some of the largest volume of online sales ever. The day was officially named by the N.R.F (National Retail Federation). This additional sales day was added due to the fact that researchers found that online sales for that day spiked about 75% that day, so they figured they might as well take advantage of that fact. In fact the first year it was nationally mentioned, online sales rose over 25% to around $490 million. It rose every year, now predicted to be over 1 billion. Competition for online retailers on this day is fierce and discounts can be found almost anywhere. Here are some tips to score the best possible deals.
- Research- knowing what is out there can help you maximize your savings.
- Knowing time constraints-when a sale starts and ends so you don't miss time sensitive deals.
- You should create online accounts for the stores you are looking to buy from before actually shopping on Cyber Monday.
- Make breakfast in bed, leave your pajamas on all day and shop from the comfort of your own home with no doors to bust, no craziness, just low prices.
Best Cyber Monday Deals
A big portion of Cyber Monday is technology deals, things like televisions, cell phones, tablets, computers, audio and more will be heavily discounted.
Fun Fact: According to a recent report (not sure how accurate the reporting is) over 35 million people have shopped online from the toilet.