Black Friday Redux

By Carlos Portocarrero

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So this was the second time I’ve gotten up at 3:30am and gone out to the malls and stores of America to see what’s cooking. Reading last year’s entry is kind of weird because, once again, Guitar Hero was all the rage at Target. I’ve since gotten a Wii, and I didn’t follow through with what I said I would do for this year:

There is only one scenario that I can see where I’m doing this again next year, and I saw a few people doing this last week. If there is one specific item (or two) that I’ve researched, looked into, wanted/needed for a long time, and all of the sudden there is a huge sale price on it, then go out there and get that one item. You’ll save a ton of money and it’ll definitely be worth it. But if you go just as a general browser you may end up buying stuff just for the sake of buying stuff, and that can and will hurt your finances in the short and long run.

Which is exactly what I turned into on Friday: a browser. I didn’t have any specific plan or idea of what I wanted/needed (although, seriously? I didn’t need anything). So I got sucked into buying Watchmen, which I’m looking forward to (Trent’s review was fresh in my mind). I bought a new Wii game (which I returned, I’m proud to say). And then M and I bought Guitar Hero III: World Tour, which was one of Target’s doorbusters. Regular price? $99. We paid $59. So at least it was a great deal and now we can play against each other and that will be fun.

So what did I learn about myself during this year’s mad scramble on Black Friday?

  • I think I’m hooked into the whole idea of finding an incredible deal, and that means I’m willing to get up REALLY early in the morning to get them.
  • I don’t value my sleep as much as think I should.
  • It’s pointless and I seem to enjoy it.

One reason I kept spouting about why I was going was that I wanted to check the pulse of the American shopper during these tough times. I wanted to see if the crowds would be smaller than they were last year. The studies said that shoppers would be spending about half of what they did last year for the holidays, and so far the results from Black Friday are contradicting that. What did I see? I saw huge crowds, but not nearly as big as they were last year. The line at Target snaked around the whole store, but only for the first 20 minutes we were in there. Afterwards it was smooth sailing. I also noticed that people in JC Penny’s were very specific about what they were buying. As we were walking into the store (they had just opened), there were already people waiting to check out. They went in, grabbed exactly what they wanted, and ran out to move on to the next store.

Did people really spend 3% more than last year? Not according to what I saw.

Anyway, I won’t make any silly predictions about next year because, as we all know by now, I’m just not good at that game.

2 Responses to “Black Friday Redux”

  • josh Says:

    what did you buy on cyber monday? I bought a bunch of clothes for the baby, good deals from the gap 15% off plus free shipping.

  • Nut Says:

    Dude, I bought not a thing on Cyber Monday. I didn’t really see any great deals or anything. Nothing that blew me away. Amazon is having an all Wii Golden Box sale tomorrow, so that might be worth looking into…

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