Thanksgiving has come and gone, and that means the holiday shopping season is now in full gear. Most stores like to have some major sales on the following Friday, and this year was no different. Stores opened as early as midnight in some places, and others had deals so hot there were people camped outside the store at all hours of the night waiting to get their hands on whatever it was they were looking for.
But these sales come at a cost. Waking up extremely early, fighting with hundreds or thousands of other people looking for the same items, the long lines when checking out, and the stress that comes with it. Is it worth it? For many people, it is. And there really are some really good deals to be had. But, the problem is that the excitement of these sales, even though the deals may be legitimately good, can cause people to buy things just because it’s a good deal, and not because it’s really needed.
For me, you couldn’t pay me to head out to the stores on Black Friday. I don’t like the crowds on a regular weekend, so I think my head would explode if I had to deal with people on the busiest day of the year. My wife likes it though, and she did head out with her relatives and picked up some good deals. Of course, it wasn’t a crazy shopping trip to find the best deals possible, but we had a list of some gifts to buy, and she only picked up stuff we would have had to buy anyway. I’m more of an online shopper myself. There are plenty of deals out there, and if you can find free shipping, it makes leaving the house almost unnecessary.
So, what about you? Do you like shopping on Black Friday? If so, where did you go, and what deals did you find? Or, do you hate shopping like I do and avoid the stores at all costs? And if you’re an online shopper, since today is Cyber Monday, do you have any deals you’re looking to score today?
Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle
My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Not this year. They can be good for bigger ticket items, but we weren;t looking for those this year.
I did not take advantage of any of the sales on black friday. The only thing I took advantage of is being frugal and saving more money.
The only thing I did was head out to Target later on Friday night and picked up a few small kitchen appliances that were on sale. By then, most of the dust had settled, and I managed to get some pretty good deals without being cold, waiting in a crowd, or rushing into a store as the doors opened.
I didn't go out to shop this year, but I did last year. After waiting in the cold at an ungodly hour and visiting two stores that did not have their advertised items in stock (and I was the first person in that department after it opened, had friends in the other), I am jaded and anti-BF shopping for a few years. I did purchase a few things online Thursday. When the price decreased Friday, I asked the company to adjust my credit card for the difference and was pleased that they agreed. (It never hurts to ask.)
I have to amend this with a comment since I did find a pretty good cyber monday sale. I went to JoS A Bank's site and saw they have all corduroy and microsuede sportcoats on sale for $79 each.
One I wanted was on backorder, and a few with my sizes unavailable, but I managed to find 3 in stock. You really can't beat that, especially with free shipping. Their "regular" prices are obviously inflated, but even if the true regular prices were half what they list, the sale price is probably around 50-60% off.
You can see the selection here, along with their other cyber monday sales.
Nope, no taking advantage of any deals here. It's not for lack of fundage - it's because of: deflation. It's a safe bet all this consumer crap will be even cheaper come early 2009 once the dismal numbers for this holiday season come clear. That means even bigger bargains if you can hold out a few months.
I made my least sexy purchase ever on Black Friday this year. That said there was no line, no getting up early for the door buster rush and the sales staff was pleasant to chat with.
I strolled into my local Radio Shack around Noon and bought a magicJack. magicJack is a USB device that lets you make unlimited phone calls to anybody in the US using your high speed internet and a regular telephone. On Black Friday $30 got you the hardware and 1 year of service. You can buy additional years of service for $20.
So far everything works great & the calls are clear as a bell. I bought this as a frugal alternative to my home phone when my digital voice contract expires next month.