Black Friday… The Mania
Belinda @ Kids Matter
I have to say, up front, I am NOT a Black Friday shopper. I try to keep as far away from the hysteria as possible. In all my life, I have only done the Black Friday thing one time and that was not by my own choosing. About 14 years ago, I was one of the few people working that day. My supervisor insisted I take one of my co-workers to get a TV she had seen in the Black Friday ads. That was 10:00AM and we finally made it back to work at 1:30PM. Now mind you, the store was only 10 minutes away from work! I hauled this crazy lady, amped by the mere thought of grabbing a small TV for $25, to the shopping complex. Traffic was horrendous and parking was absolutely ridiculous! We had to park about two miles from the store, it seemed. By the time we got close to the door we could hear the screaming. People were yelling, “Watch where you are going!” Carts banging into each other... kids running amuck… My coworker darted through the doors. Barreling over people, hollering over the crowd to me, “Come on! Come on!”
Finally, I was through the door! No time to breathe a sigh of relief! I looked up and there she was across the store, arms waving like a mad woman. I caught up to her eventually after many “excuse me, pardon me, and I’m sorry” exchanges. She grabbed a hold of my arm and just pulled me through the crowd. I was bumped, pushed, cursed, and all the while she gripped my arm with a fist of iron. “TVs… I see TVs!” she yelled. We got to the TVs and low and behold there was not a single $25 TV in the store. She started yelling and screaming for a store clerk. A guy walked over to us (he looked as if he had been trampled in the crowd) and asked her what she was looking for. He confirmed what I had already told her, “sold out”. I closed my eyes and held my breath. Sure enough… she had a meltdown, right there in the store! Full blown meltdown with big ol’ crocodile tears and mumbling of words no human could understand.
I reassured her that her love was greater than any TV and the kids would be happy with anything she gave them. The closer we got back to the car the deeper those words began to sink in with her. I opened her door, she got in, and before I had walked around the car, I heard her screaming. She had seen a sign in another parking lot with TVs for $25. Oh my! We started the game over again three more times at three more stores, all with the same conclusion, “sold out”. I hauled her back to work 3 ½ hours later without a TV. In my mind… there never was a $25 TV! Oh, there were probably five in each store and if you were one of the lucky first five in the building, you got that $25 TV.
Like I said, that was 14 years ago. Today, Black Friday (November 29, 2013) shoppers have a bigger advantage. Some of the larger stores are now open Thanksgiving evening. There are websites where you can go and find coupons, store hours, secret sales, and much more. So, let me give you some info to spare you some of the havoc of which I got to partake in all those years ago. Go ahead and bookmark the sites and keep ahead of the game.
But don’t stop here! In addition to Black Friday, we now have Cyber Monday (December 2, 2013) which is the Monday after Black Friday and is the time to make all your online purchases!
And… if you haven’t been introduced to Small Business Saturday (November 30, 2013), please allow me the honor… as per Wikipedia, “Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First observed on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.” View these links for more information:
Happy shopping! But… remember to be safe in your travels and be guarding of your credit card purchases. Shop smart! Support your local small business merchants and your community! Shop with at least one buddy, strategize and make a game plan prior to your journey, and be prepared for the weather as you camp out and stand in long lines. One last reminder… please be courteous! That person you are banging with your cart may not even be there by their own choosing. They mean you no harm. J