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Are Black Friday Deals Worth Leaving Thanksgiving Dinner?

Black Friday isn’t really just Black Friday anymore. With stores beginning their holiday sales earlier and earlier the appeal to stand in line for hours isn’t so great anymore.

With AmazonOnline Shopping so readily available what’s the point of leaving Thanksgiving dinner to get the deal on that new television when you could easily get it online? Why are there customers that are still so dedicated that they’ll stop by on one of retail’s busiest and stressful days? I’ve never experienced a Black Friday. My parents have always said that the deals weren’t actually deals at all, so I don’t get the hype. Black Friday was a much bigger deal when electronics weren’t so convenient.  Now with the convenience of cell phones, customers have an easier time browsing in order to find the best deal.

Pricing Schemes

Cash

It’s pretty well known that retailers inflate their prices to make the lowered prices seem like an incredible deal, otherwise known as price anchoring.  Aren’t we all guilty of adding one more item to our cart just so we’ll qualify for free shipping? Or worse, getting to a store with our coupons and finding out at the register that nothing qualifies except full priced items. Is that really a deal? Late last year, J.C. Penney and Kohl’s were being sued because of their misleading prices.  You may think you’re getting a deal but know we all know that the big companies never lose.

Is it a coincidence that the stores that are being targeted for these price schemes are the ones that aren’t doing well? Sears, Macy’s, J.C. Penney have closed hundreds of stores. Those of us who have been unfortunate enough to work in retail are well aware that the deals aren’t really “steals.” Yes, we know that the coupon excludes everything. Yes, we know you’re mad. No, there isn’t anything we can do about it.

Are we buying things at an inflated price all year just so stores will reduce them to their actual price during these major sales? Probably, but there’s no real way of knowing. Which is partly why the people who filed those lawsuits probably won’t win. There’s no way of telling how much we are overpaying.

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Online ShoppingBlack Friday is still big, but not in the way that it’s traditionally thought of. It’s still a major spending day, online sales surpassed shopping done on Thanksgiving Day. It seems that the appeal to ditch family dinner before dessert is beginning to wear off. The National Retail Federation reported that most shoppers showed up after 10 a.m., Thanksgiving Day in-store shopping dropped. Only 7 percent of consumers headed to stores before 5 p.m., while shopping for the day increased by only one percent.  

Black Friday is still one of the biggest shopping days of the year but it’s not bigger than Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday’s $3.45 billion sales beat Black Friday online sales of $3.34 billion, making retail history. The holiday shopping period is getting longer. Some shoppers begin planning their shopping trips before November 1st and all the way into late December.

Cyber Monday seems to be more convenient for shoppers because there’s usually a bigger variety online among other reasons. Avoiding lines, parking and traffic seem to be a big factor for shopping online. Having products shipped right to your doorstep is convenient for everyone but the last minute shopper.

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