Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means so is that hyper commercialized day called Black Friday. With all the hype of discounts and doorbusters, you can hardly blame people for sacrificing sleep, comfort, and even a good ol’ fashioned Thanksgiving meal for the sake of clutching such savings. But before you make that momentous decision to join the millions of people on such a commercial day, check out these 25 things you should know before shopping on Black Friday.
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It's a huge retail day
The appeal of discounted items is a huge draw for people. In fact, in 2011, 226 million Americans purchased $52 billion worth of merchandise on that Thanksgiving weekend alone.
It's greatly anticipiated
According to Google Trends, online searchers started looking for the term “Black Friday” on Oct. 14, with activity revving up around Oct. 20. That’s about a whole month away from the actual day.
Black Friday holiday
Actually Black Friday is not considered a federal holiday. However, some states consider it to be a public holiday.
According to Jon Vincent, spokesman for BlackFriday.com. If you want a chance at getting your hands on Black Friday doorbusters you will have to be the first in line, (which means arriving at the store on Thanksgiving morning or earlier).
Derivative items for doorbusters
According to Time.com, many products promoted at deep discounts on Black Friday are “derivative products”. In other words items that look like and are named the same as the standard models, but are actually made with cheaper components and may not have the same features. Consumer Reports found that big-name companies like Sony and Samsung have made derivative televisions in previous years.
Black Friday has been dangerous
In 2008, Jdimytai Damour, a Long Island Walmart employee, was trampled to death when crazed shoppers pushed open the doors to get their hands on the Black Friday discounted items. The paramedics who came to the rescue were also trampled and seriously injured by shoppers. In total, five shoppers at the store required hospitalization. Sadly, this is but one of many of such cases.
Pepper Spray warning
Last year, shoppers at a California Walmart were exposed to pepper spray by a 33-year-old shopper named Elizabeth Macias. Nearly two dozen people, including children, suffered nose and throat irritation.
Black Friday does not have the best deals
The last few days of the holiday shopping season will usually have better deals than Black Friday. Some products may even sell for 10 percent to 15 percent less.
People enjoy shopping on Black Friday
According to a 2012 study of roughly 460 consumers for WWD by Marvin Traub Associates, it was found that 57% of Black Friday shoppers enjoyed the experience. However, 43% did not.
Doorbusters are really limited items
It’s likely that only the first few shoppers in line will snag doorbuster deals due to low quantities. For example, last year’s mythic Sharp 42″ HDTV deal for $199 at Best Buy was really popular. Nevertheless the retailer only guaranteed 10 units per store.
You can get black Friday deals online
Don’t feel like getting out of bed at ungodly hours in the morning? Your in luck because more and more Black Friday deals are available online. In fact, last year an estimated 70% of in-store Black Friday deals were also available online for the same price or even less!
Do not purchase toys on Black Friday
If you have a list of toys you need to get for Christmas, you may want to skip Black Friday and wait til right before Christmas since retailers offer their deepest discounts for Toys on these days.
Secret Black Friday deals
Retailers like Walmart and Best buy offer “Secret” Black Friday deals that you can only get online.
Beware of return policies
Some stores tighten their return policies considerably during the holidays thus making it harder to return items. And even if you can return items some retailers will only give you store credit in spite of you having a receipt.
There's an app for that
If you are planning to partake in the Black Friday frenzy, you may want to consider apps that show you where the sales are located, Yes, there is an app for that.
Origin of Black Friday (Theory 1)
There are two popular theories as to the origins of Black Friday. According to a 2009 article published in TIME magazine, the phrase “Black Friday” was first used in the 1960’s by newspapers in Philadelphia to illustrate the resemblance of the great numbers of consumers and the madness seen after the stock market panic of September 24, 1864 (also known as Black Friday).
Origin of Black Friday (Theory 2)
The second theory, according to NRF comes from the retail accounting perspective; which refer to the stores’ profit margins in the days when the books were kept by hand. Red ink represented a loss in profit while black ink represented a profit. Signifying the day’s potential to bring profit to businesses.
People are desperate to get these 'deals'
So desperate, that some are willing to camp out for nearly two weeks in order to assure they get their bargain. This happened in Florida where Christina Orta camped out for 12 days in order to snag a TV for cheap.
Black Friday is more than just shopping
With all the mayhem associated with Black Friday (and the fact that you can get better deals on a later date or even online) you would think people would enjoy their sleep. But as researchers have found, Black Friday is also about the sport of shopping, the thrill and satisfaction of “winning” that TV before your competition does.
Alternative to Black Friday
There is an alternative to the craze of consumerism. Try not buying anything. In fact, for the past 20 years or so there has been a growing movement protesting the hyper comercialism associated with Black Friday by refusing to buy anything on that day.
Forget the Turkey
26% of people surveyed stated that they planned on shopping online on Thanksgiving Day.
Gray Thursday is on the rise
According to the National Retail Federation, retailers have gone from opening in the early morning of Black Friday to opening on the evening of Thanksgiving itself.
A massive tradition
About 135 million people shop on Black Friday every year.
Black Friday is not the busiest shopping day of the year
That title belongs to the Saturday prior to Christmas
Not all items are on sale
Sure, retailers will have some heavily discounted items, however, in the sea of products available to the consumer there will be regular priced items (so beware).