Author Topic: Black Friday rolls around again...  (Read 7439 times)

atelierk

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Black Friday rolls around again...
« on: October 18, 2012, 06:48:23 PM »
Five weeks early. I found this in my Inbox this morning. The insanity begins.


I despise Black Friday. I find the whole concept thoroughly disgusting and at the same time, baffling. I mean, what is wrong with people???

Mrs MM

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 08:16:58 PM »
Yeah, it's pretty weird.  I had never heard of until until moving to the US, although we do have Boxing Day in Canada which might be equally as crazy. 

I stay far far away from facebook on Black Friday (and the holidays in general), as it's hard to not type everything I am thinking about the extreme consumption being displayed in images and status updates.  Even Easter is ridiculous! 

Another Reader

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 08:27:08 PM »
I dunno.  If you need to replace an appliance, there are some great deals on Black Friday.  I have scored fridges, washers, and dryers for the rentals on Black Friday and the Black Friday weekend the last couple of years.  I don't stand in line at midnight for $40 junk, but the appliance prices at Lowes and Home Depot have been outstanding those three days.  Just pretend it's not a retail holy day, stop by at 9 AM, and order what you need.

Now, if I could only get a Black Friday price on a new roof..... 

keith

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 11:02:43 PM »
Pre-mustache Keith was black friday junkie (for tech toys). Thankfully, thinking about it makes me feel sick now and will happily stay clear of it.

I seriously would anticipate the ads coming out, and then look for things in the ad to buy. Hmmm look at all these good deals, better buy something! Talk about a backwards thought process...


dragoncar

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 02:06:50 AM »
I mean, what is wrong with people???

I know, right?  It's like simply saving money doesn't satisfy our evolutionary need to signal economic fitness to others.  Or something.

And why on earth would anyone make purchases on a day when the best deals of the year can be had?  Insanity.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 02:08:53 AM by dragoncar »

atelierk

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 05:11:19 AM »
I mean, what is wrong with people???

I know, right?  It's like simply saving money doesn't satisfy our evolutionary need to signal economic fitness to others.  Or something.

And why on earth would anyone make purchases on a day when the best deals of the year can be had?  Insanity.

There are in fact super-stupendous Black Friday loss-leader sales on a few items...always with very few in stock. Those are the eye-popping deals on "toys" (on the front page of the flyer) that get people standing in line in the wee hours of the morning. If you're lucky enough to nab one of those without getting trampled, then yeah, I'd agree you got the best deal of the year. Problem is, that price is only good on the tiny limited inventory they have on hand, with no rainchecks. (That's the bait.)

Sadly, after THE deal items are gone, everyone else is out of luck. But wait! BF shoppers never have to go home empty handed. They can get a 60" flat screen TV for Uncle Fred after all! See? There's also that model over there...and it too has a markdown sign on it. (And here we have the switch.) Retailers know at that point, shoppers are very inclined to simply shrug and say, "Well, as long as I'm here at 3 AM, I'll get that one. It's xx% off, that's still pretty good. Maybe I'll get one for me, too. I deserve it. After all, it's Christmas"

And so "film at 11" shows people walking out of the store with two or three TV's (or whatever) piled high in their cart, convinced they got the deal of the century on them. Maybe, maybe not. If they kept a price book and tracked prices on these (ahem) essential Mustachian items in the months leading up to Black Friday, they would often find that the Black Friday deal was nothing special at all.

Rule #1: It's not what you "saved" that counts. It's what you spent. And the "best deal" is spending nothing at all.

(Hey, I wonder how those crazy big TV's get paid for...plastic? 20% or more interest? Minimum payments? Nah..... :-)

tooqk4u22

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 08:24:04 AM »
I don't have anything wrong with black friday in of itself - kick off the shopping season for the holidays, although I don't think I have actually shopped on BF myself because I hate crowds.

What I despise though (other than the hyped up insanity and reaffirmation that people are just sheep) is that stores open at midnight or even some on Thanksgiving evening.  It is such a distraction and complete destruction of family/friend/community time....I have had people come to our house for dinner then leave rather early to rest up/plan/shop for BF hysteria.  Its offensive to me because time with family/friends is already so limited.   

 Isn't 5am or 6am early enough, it is such BS. 

grantmeaname

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 10:09:02 AM »
I know, right?  It's like simply saving money doesn't satisfy our evolutionary need to signal economic fitness to others.  Or something.
Here's how this forum works: people say that things are evolutionary necessities or human moral imperatives, and my bullshit alarm goes off. Spending money is not a cross-cultural universal. Not even remotely. Even if it were a universal indicator of fitness (and let me reiterate, it's not), there are a million other ways to signal fitness and attract a mate, like being physically fit, intelligent, happy and well-adjusted, free of chemical and psychological addictions, spiritual, and content with life.

Quote
And why on earth would anyone make purchases on a day when the best deals of the year can be had?  Insanity.
I don't think that the frugality forum would be complaining about saving money. I think they were more referring to the "holy day of consumerism" and "mindlessly blow money equal to months of your life on stupid shit you don't need" aspects of Black Friday as a cultural phenomenon. Check Mrs. MM's post, for example. She's against excess, not careful spending decisions.

Holy sarcasm batman!

dragoncar

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 11:44:23 AM »

Here's how this forum works: people say that things are evolutionary necessities or human moral imperatives, and my bullshit alarm goes off. Spending money is not a cross-cultural universal. Not even remotely. Even if it were a universal indicator of fitness (and let me reiterate, it's not), there are a million other ways to signal fitness and attract a mate, like being physically fit, intelligent, happy and well-adjusted, free of chemical and psychological addictions, spiritual, and content with life.

Apparently the forum also works via strawman arguments.  I never said anything was an evolutionary necessity.  But there are certainly evolutionary components to our desires.

Spending money may not be cross-cultural universal, but the desire to signal fitness is.  Culturally, our society does so by conspicuous consumption, so people will have an urge to do so.  OP used the word "baffling."  Is it baffling to you that people would want to find the cheapest way to purchase objects that are culturally perceived as valuable?

Do you find it baffling that a store would advertise low prices for such objects?


grantmeaname

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 11:48:27 AM »
Necessity and need share the same root. You did say it was an evolutionary need, which is pretty damn identical to saying it's an evolutionary necessity.

AJ

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 12:08:00 PM »
Sadly, after THE deal items are gone, everyone else is out of luck. But wait! BF shoppers never have to go home empty handed. They can get a 60" flat screen TV for Uncle Fred after all! See? There's also that model over there...and it too has a markdown sign on it. (And here we have the switch.) Retailers know at that point, shoppers are very inclined to simply shrug and say, "Well, as long as I'm here at 3 AM, I'll get that one. It's xx% off, that's still pretty good. Maybe I'll get one for me, too. I deserve it. After all, it's Christmas"

I'd be interested in seeing stats, because I don't know anybody that is impulse-shopping thousand-dollar items at 3AM on Black Friday. IME, most people have a very well-planned itinerary and specific shopping list. For the really good deals, you know well in advance if you've gotten there early enough to snag what you wanted (because they hand out tickets), and the items aren't even in their normal sections. Last year I waited in line in the frozen foods isle of Walmart for my sister's laptop (she owes me). Everything was so chaotic you couldn't impulse shop if you wanted to. Maybe later in the day, after all the good stuff is gone and the crowds have calmed down...but not at 3AM.

If you don't like Black Friday, I have no problem with that, but saying "what is wrong with people" is pretty judgy no matter what it is in reference to. If you don't like it, don't go.

The issue I have is what Tooqk mentioned - that the sales have inched back so far that they have started to cut into Thanksgiving itself. Some stores' sales started at 10PM thanksgiving last year. I don't like where that is heading...

starbuck

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 12:39:45 PM »
Last year my mom was an assistant manager working for a large retail company that had one of those ridiculous 'Open at 1 am!' black friday events. Her and my dad had a small early T-dinner with their neighbors before she went off to go spend hours setting up the store that night. So yea, that's why I refuse to shop Black Friday events. I feel like it's really unfair to the employees. I'm sure some employees love the extra holiday pay and whatnot, but like AJ said I don't like the direction it's heading in.

I am also far far too lazy to wait outside in the frigid cold to save a couple hundred bucks on something I most likely could do without. I'll just not spend money, thanks.

dragoncar

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 01:03:53 PM »
Necessity and need share the same root. You did say it was an evolutionary need, which is pretty damn identical to saying it's an evolutionary necessity.

Which root is that?

Let me clarify.  With respect to a desire to signal fitness, I do think this can be characterized as a "need" or "necessity" in the connotation of a want or compulsion.  Do you disagree that we have such evolutionary impulses, or just the manner in which those impulses manifest?

I'm not saying we literally need to buy things in order to propagate our genes.

atelierk

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 04:11:42 PM »

If you don't like Black Friday, I have no problem with that, but saying "what is wrong with people" is pretty judgy no matter what it is in reference to. If you don't like it, don't go.


LOL. "What is wrong with people?" was intended as a rhetorical question, but I'll go ahead and answer it myself. They haven't read:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/18/is-it-convenient-would-i-enjoy-it-wrong-question/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/30/the-cost-of-living-is-too-high-these-days-waaah-waaah/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/

Black Friday is about promoting unbridled avarice and literally millions of shoppers fall for it every year. In short, the best Christmas gift most Black Friday shoppers could receive is a punch in the face. Then the store employees could stay home with their families.

atelierk

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 04:13:11 PM »
I think they were more referring to the "holy day of consumerism" and "mindlessly blow money equal to months of your life on stupid shit you don't need" aspects of Black Friday as a cultural phenomenon. Check Mrs. MM's post, for example. She's against excess, not careful spending decisions.


Exactly!

Jamesqf

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2012, 10:11:32 PM »
Let me clarify.  With respect to a desire to signal fitness, I do think this can be characterized as a "need" or "necessity" in the connotation of a want or compulsion.  Do you disagree that we have such evolutionary impulses, or just the manner in which those impulses manifest?

I don't see how this could be considered a universal need, evolutionary or otherwise, since (at least by my observation) a large fraction of the population does not seem to be driven to exhibit "fitness" in any discernable form.

ketchup

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2012, 01:20:07 PM »
I agree that Black Friday is mostly disgusting consumerism gone rampant with the "holiday season" as the excuse, but it is not without its usefulness.

There are certain items that I will pretty much only buy on Black Friday. Things that I will plan all year on buying, and then see what the stores have to offer on Black Friday.  I've only really started paying attention to this the past three years.

2009: I bought my netbook (Acer D250 with 6 cell battery) for $168 brand new on Newegg.  My old laptop (top of the line 10" laptop circa 2002) was falling apart and I had been waiting for a good deal on a netbook. At the time, most were around $300-350. Best part was that all I had to do was wake up at 5am to order it online, and then go back to sleep. No waiting in line nonsense.

2010: Breaking Bad Season 1 on Blu-ray from Amazon for $18. Fantastic cinema-quality show, way cheaper than cable. The only TV show I bought that year, and in HD pretty-o-vision.

2011: Last year I finally did the stand-outside-the-store-and-wait insanity.  Went to Micro Center at 6am. Walked out with a new motherboard and CPU for a total of $200 (normal price around $350 total).  Then bought 16GB of RAM on Newegg for $60.  Later that week sold my old CPU (that I bought the previous year for $180) for $220 online, and reused the old motherboard and RAM in my file server.  Total cost was $40 and I was able to upgrade my primary computer from an Intel Q9550 with 8GB of RAM to an i5-2500K with 16GB of RAM, and was able to finally get my server out of the heat-spewing Pentium 4 era.  Pretty proud of that Black Friday madness.  Forty bucks and a little legwork got both my machines in much better shape.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 01:24:47 PM by ketchup »

dionysiandame

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2012, 04:37:00 PM »
Five weeks early. I found this in my Inbox this morning. The insanity begins.

I despise Black Friday. I find the whole concept thoroughly disgusting and at the same time, baffling. I mean, what is wrong with people???

Here is the very reason I am so glad we turned off our cable T.V. We're already getting bombarded with local holiday advertising by big businesses, I can't imaging the shenanigans occurring on the tele. I've, actually, never been one to do the whole "Black Friday "thing though I have been guilty of participating in a cyber Monday or two. 

ashem

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2012, 05:06:41 PM »
The potential savings would never be worth having to stand in long lines with those crowds. I saw a funny quote about it the other day.

"Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have."


atelierk

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2012, 05:22:34 PM »
The day after Thanksgiving was always a big shopping day as so many people had the day off anyway. But I don't recall any real hype until maybe 15 years or so ago. Then stores began opening at 7 instead of 9 AM. Then 5 AM. And suddenly, the last few years, it was midnight - and now some are even opening Thanksgiving night. It's now an Official Retail Event, masterfully marketed. This is the first year I recall ever receiving these pre-Black Friday preview things, particularly this early.

Black Friday is called that because supposedly it's the day that retailers finally show a profit for the year - "in the black". I find that very hard to believe however. Does anyone know if that's true, or is it urban legend? Do all the major retailers really operate at a loss all year until the 4th Friday in November?

momo27

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2012, 11:26:34 PM »
I worked 4-9 pm last year on Thanksgiving at my crappy retail job, because opening at 3 am on Black Friday wasn't enough apparently. It was slammed. I was pretty put out about having to leave the family dinner early to go to work (for no extra pay, of course, because it was a crappy retail job), but here were all these people who had voluntarily ditched family/community time to buy stupid crap that wasn't even particularly discounted.  Thankfully I am no longer captive to said crappy retail job.

SJ

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2012, 05:27:22 AM »
I personally can't wait for black Friday this year.  I actually despise it and have for over a decade, but when you're looking to save big bucks on a necessary purchase (this year it's mattresses for the kids), then it can be a great day to make a purchase.  I'll be looking out for sales at mattress stores...if I can't find any beforehand, I'm not going anywhere.

grantmeaname

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2012, 07:36:17 AM »
Here is the very reason I am so glad we turned off our cable T.V. We're already getting bombarded with local holiday advertising by big businesses
Living in Ohio, we won't hear a whisper of commercial advertising until after the election. What we're getting instead is not better, though.

kolorado

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2012, 09:25:48 PM »
Black Friday has been great for us. Anyone with any common sense can approach it like any other sale. We don't celebrate the holidays but I do have three family birthdays in December. We keep a running list all year of things we need and want and wait until an unbelievable deal pops up. Sometimes that happens with a BF sale. When hubby goes out to get the deals he has a list and an attack plan and doesn't deviate from it. Last year we got a huge trampoline with enclosure for our 9yo for only $160. We also got a king sized down alternative comforter for only $20. Both of these items were over 75% off regular prices. Like any frugal minded person, these types of items were the only things on our list and we'd been waiting months and years to find a deal good enough to hand over our hard earned cash and upgrade from whatever "for now" solution we had been using(and in the case of the comforter it was a shoddy queen and full blanket draped awkwardly over our too big bed). My husband is up at 4 am every morning anyway and he loves to people watch the crowds. He also feels responsible to police the crowds with kindness and sanity and I think he's awesome for being that socially conscious. Personally, I would not go out on BF. I hate shopping unless I can do it at a secondhand store. But being on a strict budget also means that we need to pay attention to the sales. Luckily we can do that and not get tempted to buy a bunch of crap.

Sparky

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2012, 01:31:20 AM »
I remember working my crappy retail job in the early 2000's as a teenager and the stupid events that would go on was entertaining. We didn't have BF, but Boxing Day deals and a few video game platform releases.

Most of the 'deals' were absolute crap. We generally just sold DVD's of bad movies from the 50's and 60's or had a 'blowout special' of extremely low quality, house branded TV's. The markup on that stuff was incredible too.

I see exactly 1 good deal in my 3 years of that BS work: $0.60 washer fluid. A local gas station bought out 100% of our stock in the first 15 minutes. He marked it up to $3.00 at his business.

simonsez

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Re: Black Friday rolls around again...
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2012, 12:40:28 PM »
I think Black Friday is simultaneously depressing and amusing but easily more so amusing.  Sure it is sad that consumerism is so rampant but I really feel for the people who work at these places and aren't in a position in their lives at that moment to have a better/different job (I mean the ones who dread working these hours).  As for the amusement, it is pretty self-explanatory but if there is a better deal out there be it at 3 am or even the night before BF, then supply and demand are working in some capacity.  If people weren't willing to wake up early (or stay up late) then it wouldn't happen.  I don't really give two shits if some sale is going on the next day or even on the same day as the holiday.  It doesn't affect me directly (or the sanctity of the holiday IMO) but to each their own.  The wife and I currently live far away from our families and it can be a bummer when we aren't around those we want to be (or are at least programmed to think that way) with on holidays but we're pretty grateful year round for everyone/everything we have.  If we do see family and friends over the holidays (or anytime throughout the year), it's just gravy and some sale also happening doesn't really affect that.