Black Friday FAIL

Each and every year, I go out well before the sun rises with my father to shop on Black Friday.  Most years it's exciting and results in a great feeling of accomplishment when I've completed nearly all of my Christmas shopping before 8 a.m. the day after Thanksgivings.

Most people cringe when they think of Black Friday shopping, and honestly I don't blame them.  Waking up at 3:30 a.m. to stand in line for a store that opens at 4 a.m. is not for everyone. In fact, I'm not sure that it will be for me for much longer.  But there ARE some amazing deals out there, and when you can get them, you can really save a significant amount of money.

But this year, Black Friday shopping was a total FAIL.

Why?  Well, I'm not totally sure, but I have a few theories.

1. The Economy - People are more desperate than ever to save some money while still providing nice gifts for their family. If that means waking up at 2 a.m. to save that money, then so be it.  I think that a lot of people who perhaps used to shun the Black Friday shopping experience were out this year hoping to get some bargains.

2. The "Doorbusters" are really more limited than consumers realize - This was a theory implanted into my brain my the Today Show, but I think it has some merit.  Stores want to get you into their doors, so they advertised amazing deals but then only have 10, 8 or even 2 of that amazing advertised item.  We experienced that with our trip to Staples.  We were after a laptop, and even got in line at 5:15 a.m. for their 6 a.m. opening.  We were about the 30th people in line.  At 5:45 an employee started handing out vouchers for the hot items.  Well before he reached us, they announced that the laptops were gone.  There were at least 10 people still ahead of us, and we couldn't believe that they were already gone.  So we left to try another Staples.  They were also gone at this store, and I asked an employee how many laptops there were.  She said, "Umm... I'm not sure, but maybe only 15." 

Seriously? 15 laptops for hundreds - no, probably THOUSANDS - of customers!?!?!?  I was seriously peeved.

And what else did I notice?  Well, except for those amazing doorbusters, the deals weren't actually that great. So, even when Staples (and Office Depot) got me into the door for those amazing laptop deals, they couldn't sell me on a different laptop because they seemed ridiculously high priced.  I went online yesterday and ordered a laptop for about $100 more than the Black Friday special - still a great deal.  If stores want to make money this holiday season, they need to take a serious look at the economy and who their customers are when pricing things, or else they're going to end up in the red just like the last holiday season.


LAURA said...

I went to Walmart in St. Marys at 2:00 in the afternoon and they still had a lot of things left... big screen tvs, portable dvd players, blue ray dvd players. I got a cool little digital camera for only $70. They had three brands sitting out, at least a dozen of each left, that were Black Friday deals. I'm glad I didn't get up early to go get one!

Lisa said...

Wow! Who knew that I could have gotten better deals by going to St. Marys!

BeeKayRoot said...

Wal-Mart, in general, seems to do a good job with having lots of their "doorbuster" items.

I, myself, go to the Grove City Outlets every year at midnight with my mom and siblings. I never seem to be seeking big ticket items, though. I'm more of a casual observer who doesn't go with much of an agenda.

But, yes, I love Black Friday!

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