The best Black Friday deals won't justify creating another "worst Black Friday ever." Hold that thought while we address the Black Friday 2012 issues that are top of mind right now...
If you're still looking for the best Black Friday deals, the bad news is that you have already missed some. Thanksgiving Day store openings with early Pre-Black Friday deals have been going on all day. Official Black Friday Store openings at 200+ retail stores and malls started at 8:00 PM (Thanksgiving Day) with Wal-Mart (WMT), Sears (SHLD), and Toys 'R Us. Target joined Black Friday 2012 with its deals and discounts at 9:00 PM.
Somewhere around 600 stores will join in Black Friday midnight madness when Black Friday stores open at 12:00 AM. After that, there's non-stop shopping, deals, doorbusters, coupons, specials, and general Black Friday chaos until the clock strikes midnight and the Day After Black Friday sales begin.
The biggest Black Friday discounts are up to 100% off, and there's more ways to spend money in stores and online as November 23, 2012 begins than there has ever been in the history of Black Fridays.
Click any of those links above to find anything you think you need to make the best of the Black Friday 2012 deals and discounts sales extravaganza.
If you're already queued up in some Black Friday bargain line and need to make good use of your waiting time, or you are one of those who have chosen to keep the Thanksgiving and Black Friday traditions sacred and are not shopping at all yet, then read on.
Remember just four years ago when the U.S. was in the midst of the second greatest financial crisis of the century dubbed the Great Recession? The year was 2008, the U.S. financial system was melting down in shocking new ways every day and retail industry predictions for the 2008 holiday shopping season in general and Black Friday in particular were dire.
Despite that, Black Friday shoppers desperately clung to the Black Friday shopping tradition as if it was their last lifeline to normalcy and handed over $10 billion of their hard-earned dollars in exchange for the annual Black Friday deals and discounts. This should have and could have made Black Friday 2008 one of the brightest shining Black Friday stories in the annals of retail history. And yet Black Friday 2008 was one of the worst Black Fridays ever... click to read the full story...
Not only was this not a great moment in U.S. retail history, this was not a great moment in American history, and it was even a low point in human history. We need to remember it because we need to not forget it because we need to not repeat it. Ever.
Here's what happened... may it never happen again.Share This Story
I was talking with a friend who was born in Holland and lives in Australia. I was explaining to her what Black Friday was (surprisingly there are people on the planet who don't know the rituals and significance of Black Friday) and why it was such a big deal of a day filled with a lot of big deals for American Christmas shoppers. She listened to my explanation with a puzzled look on her face and at the end of it simply said, "That's a very strange thing."
Of course in Holland and Australia there is no American Thanksgiving holiday so there is also no day after Thanksgiving to mark the beginning (or what used to be the beginning) of the Christmas holiday shopping season. So I asked Dineke how Australians knew it was time to start Christmas shopping. Again she got a puzzled look and said, "You just start when you want to start. The stores put some things on sale sometime in December. It's not such a big deal."
It's hard to imagine that this was the philosophy of American shoppers countless years ago before there was a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade or a Sears toy catalogue that served as consumer cues that it was time for the Christmas holiday shopping season to officially begin. At first it seems like Australia must be a very backwards society filled with unsophisticated retailers, and uninformed and even somewhat uncivilized consumers.
But really if you think about it, all the hype around Black Friday in particular and Christmas gift-giving in general really has no meaning except the meaning we assign to it. Dineke's straightforward assessment is very correct. Black Friday is not such a big deal. Or more correctly, it's as big of a deal as we make it out to be in our heads.
So you didn't get the 52" plasma HDTV widescreen TV deal that you stood in line for at midnight. Big deal. So the store was out of the $1.00 iPhones that you left your family Thanksgiving dinner for. Big deal. So your computer froze just before you hit the "confirm purchase" button and you lost out on the best ever Amazon lightning deal of the day. Big deal.
You are here. You have people that you care enough about to shop for. There will be other great deals, big deals, flash deals, lightning deals, one-day-only deals, doorbuster deals and biggest deals of the season before December 25, 2012 arrives. I can guarantee that. And you - and everyone you come in contact with - will live to shop another day.
You can't have a happy ending to an unhappy journey and you can't have a merry Christmas at the end of an anything-but-merry Christmas holiday shopping season. So whatever you do or don't choose to do on Black Friday 2012, do it in the spirit of Christmas. And in case we've all forgotten what that spirit it, the multi-denominational version of it is "peace on earth, good will towards everyone."
Good will and good shopping!
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