Black Friday – Where does it get its name?

by Nindo Mom on November 13, 2010

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Since the term “Black Friday” first appeared in 1966,  holiday shoppers have been coming out in droves to get a jump on their Christmas shopping. Because so many people get the day after Thanksgiving off from their jobs, they have even more time to shop, which has made this day even crazier.

The exact origin of the term “Black Friday” is somewhat debated. One possible origin exists in Philadelphia’s past, where Black Friday may have been used to describe the horrendous automobile traffic and mobs of people out and about on that day. We can certainly see from experience that this could be true, as the flow of vehicles is often at a virtual standstill on that day as shoppers do their utmost to make it from one store’s fantastic sale to the next.

However, today’s more common–and agreed upon–interpretation of Black Friday is that, from retailers’ perspective, their sales transform from being in the red (which means they’re taking a loss) to being in the black (which means they’re posting profits.)

Black Friday represents the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season. This is the day you’ll see tons of special deals and “early-bird” specials from retailers as they all vie to make the most of shoppers’ wallets. There are certainly some great deals to be had–but sometimes they’re difficult to get due to retailer practice of limited their best deals to only a couple of early-morning hours, or only offering extremely limited quantities identified in sales supplements as “minimum 5 items per store”.

My Game Plan for Black Friday

I’ve been known to go out on Black Friday to get my hands on some of those “Doorbuster” deals. But in the past couple of years, my experience has been so unpleasant–what with missing out on deals due to extremely limited stock, extremely limited sale hours, small-print on the store sale terms and conditions, lack of parking, nasty customers, etc.–that I have told myself I won’t go out again. And yet, each year, temptation seems to get the best of me, and I somehow allow myself to be suckered out.

Some of those deals are just too good to let slip by–and truthfully, some of them never come back later in the holiday season. But I try to mitigate my frustration for the day by planning my shopping jaunts in advance–in other words, I make a short shopping checklist, with items marked as to their relative importance to me so that I can hit those, first. That way, if I get fed up before I’m done with my list, I’ve at least gotten the stuff accomplished that was most important to me, had the most limited quantities, had the most limited hours, etc.

My Nindo (Way to Persevere) with Holiday Shopping = Online Black Friday Sales

These are my favorite because they’re easier–much easier. No traffic to worry about, no stolen parking spaces to lament, no rude customers or overworked salespeople. Not to mention, it’s so much easier to move from one website to another than to have to actually get in the car. Of course, shopping online doesn’t provide the fun of seeing all the holiday decorations the retailers put up, or enjoying a nice cup of cocoa as you walk through the mall–but if your goal at this point is to Power Shop–really get a big chunk of your shopping done–take full advantage of online sales that will be popping up from now until the holiday season arrives. Some of the online deals you can get can rival and even exceed those you’ll find at brick-and-mortar retailers.

One of the best resources I’ve found for getting fantastic deals on pre-Black Friday, Black Friday, and holiday shopping is Amazon.com lightening deals. Just today, I landed the popular professional Manga software package Manga Studio EX 4 for 80 percent off its retail price of $299.99, for a deal price of just $59.99. A couple of days ago, I got a programmable robot retailing for $249.99 for a deal price of $59.99. Yup, that’s two items to mark off my Christmas list! And I got them for almost unbelievable prices.

When you visit Amazon.com‘s Lighting Deals section, you’ll find deals like this every day. The change every hour or so, though, and may be limited in quantity–so the best thing to do is check them out in advance (Amazon won’t tell you exactly what they are, but they will give you clues) so you’ll know exactly what time to check back in. By checking at the very earliest available time for that deal, you’ll be alot more likely to land the deal for yourself, before the item goes out of stock. I will say this–Amazon normally does a pretty good job keeping enough items in stock, but some items are so popular…well, you’re better off not taking a chance, from my way of thinking. Check in to Amazon.com early in the day, and again at regular intervals to get the best deals.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Retailers November 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Black Friday originates from the shift to profitability during the holiday season. Retailers

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