November 20, 2012

Winning Approach to Black Friday Shopping 11/22/2012



November 22, 2012

I unashameably stole the title of this post from a newspaper headline.1

As I scanned the article I thought this is too much like work.

So what is the winning approach to Black Friday?

AVOID IT! Avoid Black Friday, Black Friday Week (a new phenomenon in 2012—businesses pushing the shopping season earlier and earlier to gain a competitive edge.

Avoid anything to do with the marketing rush involved in the Black days shopping events.

How? you ask.

My younger sister Sally, who works at a major department store, once commented that people can do better by shopping all year than they can do shopping during the Christmas rush—even with its special sales that lure you into the store to fight over the items priced ridiculously low but with few in stock, creating stampedes and leaving more frustrated, angry and sometimes injured or dead customers than satisfied customers.

Sally’s point: keeping an eye on and taking advantage of sales throughout the year can be more economically advantageous and less stressful than putting yourself out there during Black Friday (Week) or during Christmas mall mania.

Throughout the years I’ve tried to do this varying success—usually the challenge is finding the right gift for those people who are more difficult to buy for. My goal was—is—to be able to mail my Christmas boxes at Thanksgiving time. It’s a goal I rarely (if ever) meet.

This year is a rarity. I’ve accomplished my goal: there are six boxes sitting on my kitchen-porch, waiting to be mailed, and it’s only November 19th. Often I’m rushing to the post office just in time for them to arrive for the Christmas celebration.

Part of my success this year can be attributed to my limited shopping sprees during this year, and part is due to my finding just what I wanted while I shopped.

I’m going to take one further step to avoid the Christmas bind I often find myself in. I’ll mail the boxes the day before Thanksgiving to avoid the post office rush.


“You need to keep your wits about you… you can’t allow the urgency and overwhelming excitement to carry you away,” said Jodi Furman about the Christmas creep that’s become the Christmas crush (description by Marshal Cohen, chief research analyst at NPD Inc., a market research firm).

How does one accomplish this?

  • Research, compare, map out a strategy of gift giving and shopping
  • Use social media to follow your favorite stores (sorry, I don’t do social media)
  • Spread out the shopping before and beyond Black Friday
  • Use your smartphone or tablet to view specials at some department stores (sorry, my phone isn’t smart, and I don’t have a tablet)
  • Keep your receipts so you can return your items if you find a better deal later

Does this sound like too much work to you? It does to me. I’ll stick with my attempt to follow my sister Sally’s suggestion: shop throughout the year.

I’m happy to mail my boxes early. Now it’s time to settle on the gifts I haven’t purchased yet, and to prepare my Christmas cards.



Christmas. Whose Season Is It?

Deceptive Pricing Practices

Paying the Penalty for Retail Theft and Deception


1Winning approach to Black Friday, Associated Press, Tribune-Review, Nov. 18, 2012, pp E6





    Comment by Joan — November 20, 2012 @ 6:21 pm | Reply


    Comment by Joan — November 20, 2012 @ 6:23 pm | Reply

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