Here's how the Associated Press described Black Friday in an article re-printed in tens of thousands of newspapers across the globe and another tens of thousands of national & local TV news outlets:
Holiday shopping season off to record start -- "It's estimated that U.S. shoppers hit stores and websites at record numbers over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday...
All told, a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the four-day weekend starting on Thanksgiving, up 9.2 percent of last year, according to a survey of 4,000 shoppers that was conducted by research firm BIGinsight for the trade group. Americans spent more too: The average holiday shopper spent $423 over the entire weekend, up from $398. Total spending over the four-day weekend totaled $59.1 billion, up 12.8 percent from 2011."
Hmm.. Oh really?
We beg to differ...
But let's say for argument sake, AP is correct... where did all these people get the money to purchase items from? The national savings rate is 3.3% -- the lowest its been in Three years, and average hourly wages have risen at the lowest pace since the recession really took off in late 2008.
Of course there's credit cards-- buy now and pay later, or never i.e. default.
And its funny how no one who artificially inflates the exuberance of Black Friday as akin to a National Event ever takes into consideration that 'R' word...
From CBS 5- San Francisco: "When you make a return this holiday season you may have to hand over more than just your receipt, as retailers try to prevent repeated returns.
“I was required to provide them a copy of my driver’s license, where they actually took the information and scanned it into their database,” said a shopper who asked to be identified only as Leslie.
According to the National Retail Federation, 62 percent of retailers have ID requirements. Among those who have similar policies for returns are The Finish Line, Home Depot, Target and more. So where does your information go? Likely it’s being stored on The Retail Equation, a service which tracks how often you bring stuff back"
So why doesn't the news media ever cover Black Friday honestly?
Well, how do you think they make their money? Yes-- advertising. And who is spending the bulk of advertiser dollars on TV and newspaper ads during this time of year? Yes-- the very same companies that the writers brag upon as thriving, bustling stores. And what would happen if the media portrayed Black Friday as a negative, or gave information that dissuaded people from shopping? Yes-- less ads.
'You caress my mumblies... I caress your jumblies'
So many suckers and fools kill themselves (and sometimes others) to get a good 'deal' when quite often the best deals are anytime But the day after Thanksgiving:
It turns out that gifts from Barbie dolls to watches to blenders are often priced below Black Friday levels at various times throughout the year, even during the holiday season, and their prices follow different trajectories as the remaining shopping days tick down.
Watches and jewelry, typical last-minute quarry for well-heeled shoppers, get more expensive as the season progresses, according to Decide Inc., the consumer-price research firm that gathered and analyzed the data for this article. Blenders, which might sit around for months if they aren't bought in the holiday window, get much cheaper at the end..."
As for HDTV's, they're Always discounted the cheapest right before the Super Bowl, um.. we mean.. 'Big Game'.. Nudge.. Wink.. (That's our little homage to all the retailers who advertise before the Super Bowl but don't want to pay licensing fees for the right to use that term, so they "cleverly" refer to it as 'Big Game')
Honestly, it was the first time we've Ever seen iTunes cards sold anywhere for better than $20% off.
To give comparison, Target was selling a $60 pack of iTunes cards for $50 which comes to a savings of 18%. Rite Aid was selling at $25 card for $25 but you get $5 back to use to buy other things at the store, which really isn't much of a savings at all.. And they limited purchases to 1 per customer.