When Black Friday Comes…

When Black Friday comes, I run like hell, the other way.

Who on earth in their right mind purposely runs pell-mell into a crowd of pissed off angry – stayed up all night waiting in line – loony tune shopping robots on a search and destroy anyone who gets in their way mission? These people have allowed themselves to be programmed by the best ad execs working for the megabucks corporate retailers in cahoots with the media at large that this is the only day all year long to get all these once in a lifetime deals.

Imagine, in movie-like scenes seemingly put together by Irwin Allen you have little old ladies beating folks with umbrellas for trying to snatch a prized child’s toy ahead of them. In real life you had a true story of an astute, yet evil current events follower, doing a UC Davis crowd dispersal move of pepper spraying to thin out the competition for highly sought after Christmas gift items. Christmas gifts. That’s the spirit. What would Jesus do?

Riddle me this, Batman. What if, Black Friday is not the best time to get the best deals on everything? Decide.com is a useful website for anyone looking for the best price at the best time on many popular electronic items on the market today. Go to their website, enter your desired item in the search field and you get results including current pricing and whether or not prices are expected to rise or drop.

From Decide.com: “Decide is all about leveraging data and technology, not marketing ploys, to help shoppers. We use our patent-pending machine learning and text mining algorithms on billions of price points across millions of products, blog posts, and articles on the web to enable shoppers to make the best buying decision possible.”

Quoted recently in a New York Times articleOren Etzioni, cofounder of Decide says that Black Friday may not be when the best deals occur for electronics. That would more likely be in early December. Paraphrasing Etzioni, Black Friday is designed for the retailers to go into the black, not for the consumers to get the best deals. Other sources in the article deliver a similar message that Black Friday is not always the time for the very best deals as retailers would have us believe.

Never having participated in a frantic and potentially dangerous day after Thanksgiving shopping spree myself, these revelations did little to assuage my nonexistent fears of missing the big one. I will continue to ignore the desperate pleas of the relentless retail machine that always needs to be fed more, more, more. Mind you, I am pro-capitalism, but with sanity. To me, Black Friday is nothing more than a great song by Steely Dan.

Chris Nielsen – Notion Tree


One thought on “When Black Friday Comes…

  1. You are your mother’s son! I just read her your blog, she hadn’t seen it before and she is very impressed with your message. I have to admit that I convinced G. to buy 2 computers on Black Friday from a local electronics retailer. But we had been researching pricing and specs for several weeks before making the decision.
    Fortunately, this retailer was well-prepared for the crowds, we only waited for 2 hours, and were successful in our purchases.
    We hadn’t done it before, and don’t know that we’ll do it again.

    By the way, Eileen is here visiting, she didn’t know about your blog here either. I read them several entrees from my new laptop. They really enjoyed your writing and your point of view. Keep it coming!

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