Black Friday Shopping
The countdown to Black Friday Shopping is on….Wendy is getting her money changed over to U.S. Currency, getting road maps and the GPS system in the van programmed for what is becoming our annual shopping road trip. Yup….we are going
BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING!!!!!!!!!
What Is Black Friday?
For those of you who have heard about Black Friday Shopping, but not sure what it is, it’s the day of the year when retailers in the U.S. offer up some deep discounts on all kinds of products and merchandise. Millions of folks all over Canada and the United States go Black Friday shopping.
When Is Black Friday?
Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday is the day after that. This year, 2011, Black Friday is November 25th.
Why Is It Called Black Friday?
It’s a popular time for shoppers to get their Christmas shopping done, and to take advantage of Black Friday shopping sale pricing that is designed to move merchandise. Rumor has it that it is called BLack Friday because it is the one day of the year when the retailers can get their accounting in order, or “in the black” which is good, as opposed to “in the red” which is bad….
Black Friday Cautions
Black Friday shopping is not without it’s foibles. There can be long, long lineups, both getting in the stores when they open, and at the checkouts. Usually the stores are closed on the day before, and open sometimes as early as midnight on the day following American Thanksgiving. This tends to create a real sense of anticipation, and brings shoppers out in record numbers each year. Be prepared for crowds. During Black Friday shopping carts may be in short supply, older folks or anyone with mobility issues needs to take extra special care because of the large crowds in some locations.
Because of the large influx of people during the Black Friday shopping weekend, even restaurants can be crowded, making getting a bite to eat time consuming. Having some snack food in the car, especially if you are travelling with children…or me…is very important. Wendy always makes us some sandwiches and other snacks. And remember, in some areas, not too much is open on Thanksgiving Day, which can make getting a meal a challenge.
Black Friday Accomodations
If you are travelling from out of town to shop on Black Friday, motels and hotels can be in short supply. You may have difficulty getting accomodations before, during and after Black Friday. In fact, many people book their motel rooms the year before in order to be assured of accomodations for Black Friday.
Know Your Limits
Because of some of the deep discounted prices, and the excitment of huge crowds of shoppers, it is easy to get caught up in the excitment and overspend. If you go, know your spending limits. And know how much “stuff” you can get in your vehicle to take home…here is our vehicle last year loaded down with our Black Friday deals. To be honest, there were four of us in this van….
Know Your Prices
It really pays to know the regular prices of items you are interested in buying. Somethings are not on sale during Black Friday or the prices are no less expensive than you can buy at home during a sale. No sense buying stuff that you have to pack and carry home if you can get it at home for the same price or even cheaper.
Canadians don’t forget GST and duty at the border.
We have found that it isn’t all that bad to have to pay a little at the border to bring stuff home, still a savings, but you need to at least be aware of your limits and if you go over your limits, be prepared to pay duty.
Black Friday Lessons Learned
One lesson I learned from our Black Friday Shopping adventure last year, is that it might be better to head to the more expensive stores first. That is because sometimes they have higher quality products marked down to very affordable prices. Look at it this way, you might get a really high quality coat at half price, compared to a lower quality coat at half price. Yes, the lower quality coat is cheaper to buy, but are you getting the best value? Just something to think about.
It is true, shoppers start lining up outside the stores hours before they open, and in some cases, that means lining up in the middle of the night. You might want to have on comfortable shoes and warm clothing, and a raincoat if it rains. Keep an eye on the crowd too, there have been some very unfortunate incidents during Black Friday rushes when stores unlock their doors. People have actually died, trampled by the rushing, bargain crazed crowds.
Know What You Might Want To Buy
Because of the Black Friday Deals, which can be quite distracting, especially when the doors first open, it is a good idea to have an idea of items you are really interested in buying, and try to find them first. Otherwise, you could be disappointed when you finally get to the computer section and find the $200 laptops all gone….
Black Friday Flyers and Black Friday Ads
Don’t be too surprised if you cannot find many Black Friday flyers prior to Black Friday. Retailers tend to guard their prices and black friday deals pretty carefully to keep other retailers from learning the prices ahead of time and cutting their prices to undercut the competition.
Cyber Black Friday and Cyber Monday
If you cannot get away to go shopping in person on Black Friday, all is not lost. There is still “Cyber Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” allowing you to do your shopping online, without leaving home. There are lots of Friday deals online. Many online retailers like Amazon, offer their own version of Black Friday discounts and Friday deals online. Not only that, several years ago, online retailers noticed a surge in online sales on the Monday following Black Friday. That was the beginning of Cyber Monday, when shoppers who couldn’t get out during the big retail sales, or couldn’t get what they wanted, decided to shop online the following Monday.
Online shopping has dramatically increased the number of cross-border shoppers as folks from Canada buy from U.S. retailers online, and have their purchases shipped to them. Saves the expense of travel and hotels, lineups at the checkout and the maddening crowd. Online retailers, like Amazon, want a piece of the Black Friday business too, and offer lots of items at discounted prices. All from the comforts of home. The downside is, you don’t get a road trip vacation in the car….and who doesn’t love a road trip?
So there ya go…everything you need to know about shopping for Black Friday Deals. Don’t let my words of caution worry you. There are lots of great deals on Black Friday and the whole shopping experience is kind of exciting and fun. There is a sense of urgency and wallet busting enthusiasm and excitement in the midnight air as you lineup outside Walmart waiting for them to unlock the doors and let the fun begin!!
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