One of the craziest and busiest days for shopping in the U.S. is Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving).
It is called Black Friday because legend has it that retailers start to get into the black from that day.Â
While tis’ true that Indians love a great bargain and will haggle you away to death to get the prices they demand, Americans belong to a different category of bargain hunters.
We haven’t seen Americans (white or black) haggle with the sales reps, but they are the greatest bargain-hunters in the world.
InÂ their eternal, relentlessÂ quest for the Holy Grail of low, lowÂ prices, none can beat the Americans.
To snag low prices, AmericansÂ will clip coupons, drive miles and miles, stand in line for hours, visit NYC on rumors of sales or to buy knockoff/replica purses and bags in the Canal Street area in downtown Manhattan,Â tirelessly haunt the forums of web sites like TechBargains, Fat Wallet, Deals2buy and SlickDeals andÂ outsource manufacturing/services to Indian and Chinese coolies and then whine about loss of jobs here.
Wal-Mart is the standing example (these days it seems Wal-Mart is the only retailer standing) of the American consumers’ search for low prices.
But it’s the Black Friday sale that separates the men from the boys.
Scouring web sites like Black Friday 2008, BFAds and the like for weeks in advance, Americans arm themselves with all the information and the best upcoming deals in preparation for their assault on Wal-Mart, Macy’s, ToysRus, JC Penney, Target, Best Buy, Office Max, K-Mart, Circuit City et al.
Rain, snow or sleet areÂ piffling challengesÂ to the Black FridayÂ warriors – Fortified with tall cups of hot coffee and clothed in thick jackets, Americans will stand in line from 7:00PM the previous night or even earlier to snap up the great bargains on Black Friday.
Family members split up with each member going to a different store.
They then meet at around 10AM in a parking lot to compare and showoff purchases and share war stories (yes, to average American shoppers, the Black Friday shopping experiences are the real war stories…who cares about Iraq and Afghanistan).
Yes, the Black Friday deals are pretty good compared to everyday prices (several hundred $$$ lower for big ticket items) but the quantity is limited.
The stores open at 5AM and the best sales are from 5-11AM. But if you are not among the first 50, you are unlikely to get what you want.
This year, the Black Friday deals are likely to be better than usual because of the depressed economy.
Our prediction for the hot items this Black Friday are Blu-ray players, 50-inch LCD/Plasma TVs, Laptops and digital cameras.
Our Black Friday Experience
ManyÂ years back, we decided to join the early morning Black Friday hordes at the local Best Buy.
So we left home at around 4:00 AM with a tall cup of Coffee (home-made, we desis are kanjoos cheapos) thinking we’d be early.
Guess what – we were 100 or 125th in line.Â Way back in the line to get what we wanted (we’ve forgotten what we were pursuing…maybe a second or third laptop or camera…not sure now). We saw only one other desi in the store. The rest were mostly White with a few African-Americans. After that, we never tried it again (in any case we have two or more of most things except for the spouse 🙁 and you can’t get another her/him at a Black Friday sale).
Hey, Good Luck with your Black Friday shopping this year.
Does India have anything at all likeÂ Black Friday on a national scale like the U.S?