Saturday Special – Black Friday

Hello folks. I thought I’d drop a Saturday Special on you, just for the fun of it. I had something a little different in mind but after considering it and getting started on it, I thought differently about it. Maybe some other day for that one.

By now, we’ve all gorged ourselves on Turkey with all the trimmings, the pies, cakes, and other goodies. Many of you, after doing so, then went and stood in a line at some big box store for the big bargains. The day is known as Black Friday. People line up for $200 computers and flat screen TVs. They do so as if these ‘bargains’ will never be seen again. Those with kids hit the toy stores and spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars (that they don’t have) on a pile of junk that will be broken or otherwise trashed by New Year’s Day. Then, the bill comes. The more wise folks pay cash for their goods so that at least, they aren’t later paying for stuff on credit card bills, that is long gone or long forgotten.

Now, these until 15 or so years ago, I had never heard of ‘Black Friday’. I knew that the stores were always crazy the day after T-day and would never shop on that day but, I never knew it was called Black Friday. In reality, I think the term has something to do with the financials of the stores But it has also become a marketing term. This is my memory of it, yours may differ. The big box stores get people into the stores and can even program the time of day they go with the promise of a near giveaway ‘bargain’ at specific times. People crowd into the stores, crowd around the ‘limited quantity’ item and count down the seconds until the cover is taken off of whatever is being offered. Here’s an example. In this case, the item being offered is head phones for $5. I don’t know what kind of head phones, it really doesn’t matter. The ones I want are noise canceling Bose, wireless, headphones and that bargain on those is the ONLY thing that could get me into a store on Black Friday. Never going to happen, those run about $300. Some guy took his kids to watch the mayhem of the people getting these ‘limited quantity’ headphones, for $5. Don’t worry, the kids were at a safe distance. Here’s the video he recorded.

For many, I suppose this is more about the thrill of the chase while they bargain hunt but I will bet good money, I can find those same ones, online, and have as many sets as I want delivered to my home, shipped free. The dirty little secret of that video is that the store likely has 10 more pallets of these things in the warehouse. These aren’t once in a lifetime bargains, they are once a day bargains. As Black Friday videos go, that one is pretty tame. Note the security guard (or policeman) watching over all of it in case it gets out of hand. Here is another. I’m just amazed at the crowd, of mostly women, piling into this place to get drawers and brars at a discount.

Now, I’ve had girlfriends and I’ve paid for this type of stuff for them so I know it can get expensive but, Really? Most of them probably think it’s all in fun and if they manage to get what they went after, they’re happy they went after the items. Again, as Black Friday videos go, that one is pretty tame. I think you get my point.

Last year, in a similar situation, one woman was so hell bent on getting what she was after, she Mace’d the crowd. None of these items or types of items are worth fighting over. You would think that they were there to get a morsel of the last side of beef on the face of the planet after all the available food has been consumed. As the last resort for something to eat before resorting to cannibalism. Well, maybe that’s a stretch but I think you get my point.

The potential for a fight has brought about another black Friday activity. The watcher. That’s the person(s) who go to the stores at opening time or bargain reveal time, hoping to see a fight and capture it on video to post it on youtube for our entertainment.

Not to be outdone by Black Friday, we now have Cyber Monday. That is MY shopping day if I decide to actually buy gifts. Usually, I give cash so if I buy anything on Cyber Monday, it’s a gift to me for me from me. At least a weekย  before that day, my inbox is flooded with announcements of coupon codes and such. If you’re online at the right time, you can get a 60 inch television, shipped free, for under $600, for a limited time and there are limited quantities. No crowds, you pushing or shoving, no need to put gas in the car, no need to stand in any lines with people you can’t stand the sight of.

It takes a hard fast bargain shopper to participate in this black Friday activity. I mean, after you’ve gorged yourselves on the big dinner and put everything away so you’re eating leftovers for the next week, you willingly make your plan, and go get in line for whatever treasures you are after. For all of you, I really hope you didn’t walk away disappointed. Further, I hope you walked away from it unscathed. Getting beat up over a $5 pair of headphones or a $20 phone, seems like it would take the fun out of it.

There are a lot of different ways I could have gone with this post but I just chose to focus on the madness of it all. This isn’t meant to psychoanalyze people who enjoy this activity, just to chuckle at it a little bit in a shaking my head sort of way. While you’re out shopping this season, be safe about it, and don’t let the retail aspect of it spoil your season.

Until next time, Peace.

MTH.

About MelTheHound

Fuck Cancer
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35 Responses to Saturday Special – Black Friday

  1. Just Wondering in Jersey says:

    I have never liked crowds and always shopped throughout the year. You would never find me in this madness then and now I do all my shopping online and that includes groceries. No way Jose.

  2. Good post …… When I used to buy gifts for Christmas…I ALWAYS shopped our local shop owners or the open air market with local vendors…No tarjay..no wally world..no k farts for me….
    After my Son passed away..the tradition of giving gifts to Family was changed..We now give to the USMC Toys for Tots and the Family Fund for Military at Miramar Base in San Diego…

    I don’t have any desire to be crushed by crazed people …lol

    hugs and peace
    diva

    • melthehound says:

      Before internet shopping really took off, I use to spend more in gas money than I saved on any items driving around looking for a bargain. I’m proud to say, I haven’t been to a Mall in almost 20 years and I use to make the 100+ mile circle to hit them all.

      Very worthy causes to support. I’m sure it’s appreciated.

  3. baronessbeachcomber says:

    I will be doing 90% of my shopping online. From this day through Christmas if I go out it will be only to browse, not because I have to have something specific. Some people I know enjoy this kind of thing. I don’t get it, but whatever floats their boats.
    I believe today is Small Business Saturday. If you can, please go out and support your local small businesses.

    • melthehound says:

      I’m not really a fan of any store but if I do go, it’s only to find out they don’t have what I wanted to look at ๐Ÿ˜› Even if I looked it up in the internet first. The small businesses I use to support, the mom and pop shops, are long gone. The last one disappeared about 4 years ago.

  4. Hello! I just stopped by to say hey to the Empress and happened on this post. Which is a great one! I would never, ever subject myself to this madness. It just doesn’t compute for me. People beating each other up for material things is not my idea of a good time!

    Today, I am supporting small businesses by shopping several (or many!) local thrift stores looking for furniture finds (& other goodies) to repurpose for Christmas gifts. That means more to me, and to the person receiving, than all the hours spent in line for that $5 headphone that will be marked down 2 days before Christmas anyway! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Hope everyone is well and out of the food coma! Hugs to you Empress!!

    • Hey MarDrag!! You’re so right about the prices just before Christmas. Those Black Friday deals aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.
      It’s always good to hear from you and you’re more than welcome any time you feel like dropping by. Hugs right back to you. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • melthehound says:

      I’m always of the mindset I can get something cheaper than the widget I’m holding in my hand. Especially if I’m willing to wait (which I am). As I said, I give cash. Less personal perhaps but I don’t have to spend time thinking about a gift that somebody is likely to return anyway.

  5. cusi77 says:

    Very good Saturday Special, MelTheHound! The First video reminded me my childhood when the pinata finally break and all us, the kids, jump to get some fruit, toys and -sometimes, not always- there were some candies! Pinatas were typical during Christmas Season (consecutive 8 days of Posadas) Later they started to use them for Birthdays as well… Hmmm “The Time Tunnel”…

    But as an adult you could have seen me fighting for food for my family, not for ‘things’!

  6. U couldnt pay me to shop in Black Friday. I shop all yr round, hide the stuff for the kids in attic. Only time I shopped on Black Friday was on line. Matter in fact; after x-mas, we shop for everyone else in the family. Not all Americans are crazy like these shoppers; macing ppl, tripping ppl, trampling over while killing someone (walmart manager cpl yrs ago) Embarrassing and just plain crazy! I do not need to save 15-70% thay bad lol. One year my husb family came from Italy & we went shopping on BF; what an embarrassment.

  7. Mel, becareful shopping on Cyber Monday or anytime. Make sure u know the store. So many scams out there. Even on eBay we got scammed. A store had a high score, sold phone Accessories etc. For about a yr or so, build up their feed back etc. Then around xmas time had a special for laptops; almost to good ne true. My husb checked out the FB. Again and saw ppl left fb for the computers, they were good. One even was a nuetral fb, said shipping took 16 days- on the lusting said

  8. (Cont) listing said coild take up to 14 business days and no returns. It turned out to be a scam. Back then had a hard time getting money back b/c listing said no returns and thru ebay u had 30 days. The comp were defects & the seller would nive bogus instuctions on to get it to work. Just saying becareful!

    • Cheezus! I rlly hate touch pad phone. I really do. I swear i’m not illiterate.

    • One more thing, o. co (overstock) has gr8 sales before and after x mas for cellphone Accessories & computers! So does the cellphonestore. net

    • melthehound says:

      I’ve been on ebay since 1998 so I’ve seen it go through and experienced, all of the changes. I get nervous about buying used stuff there, so much so, people have to have big, clear, pictures, be willing to accept returns (stated), for me to even take a chance.

      Always be careful with online shopping when dealing with the private sector. If you can’t see details in the pictures, or no pictures at all, probably best to move on to the next one of a kind item. Avoid listings that say Rare, Hard to find, and other buzzwords like that. That is, unless you know it to be true. Usually though, that rare item, is followed in the list with an identical item from another seller which is, equally as rare ๐Ÿ˜› Ask questions. If you don’t get a response, probably best to move to the next listing. You are correct, Ebay now forces sellers to give refunds if items aren’t what was described. However, and this goes for ALL Online commerce, especially when dealing with paypal.

      NEVER, and I DO MEAN NEVER use the Gift or personal fund transfer option with paypal to purchase an item. First of all, it’s against their policy to do so and to ask for it if selling something. Second, and most important, you might as well have stuck cash in an envelope and mailed it. There is NO buyer protection if you buy an item with that option.

      I bought a camera in 2004 on ebay. Used a postal money order to pay for it. I’m still waiting for the camera. It’s asshats like that who are the reason the current policies exist. I could probably write a book on ways to get scammed on the internet. You are correct, Miss Fabulous. Even the what look like legit businesses are among the worse. Do note however, that many sellers, especially on Ebay, are Drop Shippers. That is, they don’t actually have the item you are buying (phone accessories come to mind here), but are acting as a third party agent. The reason you have to wait so long is your item is on a slow plane from China. One that the pilot has to flap his arms to make it fly.

    • melthehound says:

      Well, There you go… Consumerism at it’s best. No thank you. Shots in a parking lot over a parking space and they hadn’t even gotten into the store yet. So the guy they are looking for didn’t even get what he went after. How fun….

    • Kind of puts “Black Friday” in a whole new context. Gotta love that Christmas spirit.

  9. I was one who used to love the thrill of the hunt, prowling the malls for bargains, although I can’t recall ever going out on Black Friday. Now, I do most of my buying on the internet. As you said above, mth, you could drive around all day, going from store to store, and never find what you wanted. It’s a whole lot easier to Google the items, find the best price and let someone else just drop it at the door. Most online merchants will ship for free during the holidays. Having a UPS driver who’s easy on the eyes doesn’t hurt either. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • melthehound says:

      Hehe ๐Ÿ˜† The Hound knows the sound of the UPS (and Fedex) truck. He can hear them coming down the street before I can. Santa Claus doesn’t ride in a sleigh, he drives a truck ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I enjoyed the thrill of the hunt too. I wasn’t always this sour about shopping.

      • That’s too funny about The Hound. Our two dogs are the same way. There must be something about the sound of those big brown trucks that mere humans are missing. Doesn’t even matter if they’re headed to out house or not. They announce the arrival of UPS for the whole neighborhood. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. nohausfrau says:

    Seeing Mel’s beautiful face is a treat! I went to a big craft fair yesterday, bought a couple of bumper snickers and a hair doo dad that I’ll probably never get to work and then did $350 body damage to the car in the parking lot (a pole that I rubbed in a too close too crowded parking lot). I’ll stay home next year. Went to a small business today and the customer service was non existent. I’ll purchase from Amazon next time. Live and learn.

    • melthehound says:

      Nohausfrau, Toss that beautiful Mishka a treat from Mel. That’s almost the worse case scenario when it comes to shopping nightmares. At least you didn’t get hurt but those were some expensive bumper stickers and hair doo dads. I don’t feel so bad now about my debit card overdraft on a $5 hamburger (that burger cost me $45) ๐Ÿ˜›

      But yes, I didn’t even mention possible car damage as part of it. Sorry that happened to you.

  11. Jill...no not THAT Jill says:

    I have never shopped on Black Friday and the thought of going out shopping on Thanksgiving night is just too much for me. After cooking and cleaning who wants to go out and shop?? I’d rather sit down with a cold beer and hang out with my guest!! My nieces have started going out shopping on Thanksgiving night and I have them text me from the stores to tell me whats going on.They always come back with great stories…and presents for themselves!!!

    • melthehound says:

      โ€ฆand presents for themselves!!!
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Ha! I know for some families, Black Friday shopping has become a part of their TDay tradition as entire families head out. You’re right though, after all that work, who wants to go fight with a crowd of people or even go out for that matter?….

    • Just Wondering in Jersey says:

      I did some cyber shopping yesterday and also bought myself a present. New blinds for 2 rooms. After 20 years they needed replacement but you think I could have done it while not shopping for Christmas.

  12. Superfly says:

    I have never shopped on Black Friday. This year I need a DVD player and I saw that WM and KM both had one at a great price. I went online Thursday evening and all of the stores were already out of them and they were out of stock online also. So I typed Sony.com and there it was, same BF price with free shipping. My cats will let me know when the truck turns up the drive!

  13. Kaereste says:

    Gosh, thank you MTH for reminding me about how I dislike shopping. My family doesn’t exchange gifts anymore. We just share a meal and each others company.

  14. Kaereste says:

    Our family caught this wonderful story on tv last night. It will forever change your Thanksgiving feast.
    My Life as a Turkey
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/my-life-as-a-turkey/full-episode/7378/

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