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My First Black Friday

For the ignorant ;), Black Friday is the day next to Thanksgiving day and marks the beginning of the shopping season. This day huge discounts are offered on many products.

Traditionally all these discounts had been available only in stores. But of late with the penetration of internet and e-shopping, this year had seen a good increase in discounts being offered online as well. There were few things I realized about Black Friday 2007.

  • To begin with, the huge discounts which seem to be offered on Black Friday was more of an illusion (at least for the online offers). In most of the cases, I found that the items which were for sale on Black Friday were actually available for the same price or slighty higher price from other stores (and in some cases for a lower price). While it may seem that the discount is more than 50% when compared to the actual price of the item, it will only be 10-20% less than the rates offered in other stores. For example, I was looking at the Motorola Bluetooth headset H300. Its actually price was about 40 USD. And there was a Black Friday offer for 20 USD with free shipping at one of the stores. I thought this was really great until I found that the same piece would cost me even less than 20 USD (item price + shipping costs) at (though there was no Black Friday sale at Amazon). So googling for the product and visiting sites such as might help you get a good picture on the *real* discount you get on the product which is being advertised as being sold for a great deal on Black Friday.

    It should be noted though that there will be some items which come for a really cheap price online and also that the in-store discounts are generally bigger than online discounts.

  • Next thing to keep in mind is about the quality of the goods. It is quite possible that because of the huge discounts we might be tempted to buy a product. But it might be of poor quality and might later prove to be a very bad idea having purchased it. For instance, I needed to buy DVDs. I've found out that Dynex DVDs (100 pack) was available for only 7 USD. I thought this was a great offer and was tempted to buy it. But a quick review revealed that many customers were dissatisfied with Dynex DVDs. Finally after some reading, I've found out that currently Taiyo Yuden is the best DVD manufcaturing company and if you are looking for long term storage Taiyo Yuden DVD+R would be the best choice. And hence though they are slightly costly when compared to other DVDs, I decided to go ahead and purchase it.
  • Next comes the question when is the right time to begin looking for Black Friday deals. While Black Friday offers start as early as one week before Black Friday, I realized that all the great deals were available on the Thanksgiving day (Thursday) and Black Friday. Below are some of the sites which I was constantly visiting to keep track of the online offers.

  • When some good product is offered for a really low price, people buy it like crazy. Therefore it is quite possible that the item will be sold by the time you purchase it. This happened to me when I tried purchasing the 4 GB Sandisk Micro Curzer with ReadyBoost from CircuitCity. I added it to my cart and just as I was about to checkout there was no stock left online :(.
  • Lastly it might be a good idea to keep the details of a U.S. credit card with you. The reason being not all stores accept international credit cards.

Apart from Black Friday there is something known as Cyber Monday which falls on the Monday immediately after Black Friday. This has been started recently and is meant for online shopping (as Black Friday is traditionally supposed to be associated with in-store shopping). But I felt that the online deals were actually better on Black Friday than Cyber Monday. It is also criticized that Cyber Monday is nothing but a marketing hype.

So coming to the end of this post, wonder what I had purchased for "Black Friday"? And the answer is "nothing". Yeah .. you heard that right :). I already have most of the things which I need and the few things which I needed (such as DVDs) which were for sale were not those of very good quality. Anyway, as I had spent considerable time on this, I decided to buy a 4 GB Sandisk Micro Cruzer with ReadyBoost just for the heck of it as it seemed to becoming for a reasonably low price at CircuityCity. But as I already mentioned above at the time of checking out, it went out of stock. So I had to buy the same item from another store for a marginally higher price. But the irony is that the person to whom I have shipped it to might not be able to collect it before she leaves to India and hence I might have to return the item. Which essentially means that I have purchased nothing for Black Friday :).


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