Black Friday: Who, what, when, where and no need for a why
We tried to go Anti-Black Friday, but to no avail. The shopping deals just keep coming at us fast and furious. We've succumbed. We're getting our shopping shoes on.
For the week's best shopping bits, here's some tips rounded up from the Web:
Who: All of us crazy shoppers
What: Cyber Monday and Black Friday
Black Friday has always sounded totally ominous to me, and not just because it means hordes of shoppers battling it out for the latest Bieber doll. Turns out, it's for good reason. The term originally referred to the day the stock market crashed in 1869. No one knows the exact day the term came to mean the day after Thanksgiving, when stores started holiday discounts to mark the beginning of Christmas sales, but one Web site says "black" refers to the accounting practice of listing losses in red and profits in black. Cyber Monday originally referred to the Monday after the holiday weekend, when the deals from Black Friday were posted online for shoppers who didn't make it to the stores on Friday. But ...
... Cyber Monday was bumped up a week early to make the shopping craze start a few days before Thanksgiving and last through the holiday weekend.
Where: Online and at the mall
The best way to keep tabs on online deals is by following Web sites dedicated to tracking them.
BlackFriday.com will e-mail you notifications of all the ads and deals as they go live in your area. It also keeps track of the deals that the top 20 Black Friday stores are offering.
FatWallet.com offers a list of the best deals across the Web and lists coupon codes for different stores.
Consumer Reports compiled a list of the Facebook and Twitter pages of top shops. Many of these stores offer particular deals on these social media sites. Check out the list here.
Amazon is offering up a list of "lightning deals" from across the Web. The online megastore will offer a limited supply of products being offered by other retailers -- only they'll cut the cost. The list is changing all the time, so check back often.
Wal-Mart has been pushing Target into a price war, promising to meet any deal Target offers. Wal-Mart stores will be open 24 hours on Friday, and any rival's ad price will be met.
Check out the kid-tested, top-rated toys of the season in this online gallery. Also, turns out the Bieber doll has some competition with the Steve Jobs action figure. The doll that was going for $80 a pop is already sold out. The Apple appeal.
And, a reader offers up another shopping solution: "Readers should take a look at supporting their local businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday. Visit your local Main Street!"
From the Facebook page:
First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. This year, November 27th is the first ever Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday is a national movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S.
Of course, for the truly savvy, save some cash for the post-Christmas deals. As Consumer Reports advises: "Hard-core shoppers know that Dec. 26 is the real Black Friday."
Tweet Black Friday is upon us, which for some people means lining up at midnight, throwing elbows for that last iPad or stampeding strangers for Justin Bieber. We need your help capturing the madness. Tweet us your tales of #blackfridaymadness -- from most outrageous moments to random acts of consumer kindness to historic steals. We'll collect your best stories and vote for this year's maddest Black Friday moment on Monday, Nov. 29.
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