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Posted at 1:42 PM ET, 11/22/2010

Black Friday: Who, what, when, where and no need for a why

By Melissa Bell
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Black Friday, 2009. At the Best Buy in Rockville, doors opened at 5:00 a.m with 514 people in line. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

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 ...

When: Now

... 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.

Brad Wilson, the founder of BradsDeals.com, created a list of the top 15 deals floating around the Web right now. The list ranges from kitchen appliances to cashmere sweaters.

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."

YOUR TAKE: What's the craziest thing you've seen in the name of #Blackfridaymadness?

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.


By Melissa Bell  | November 22, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Kennedy assassination: Where were you? (Photos)
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Comments

In addition to plugging Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Readers should take a look at supporting their local businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday. Visit your local Main Street! (http://www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday)

Here's the spiel 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.

More than a dozen advocacy, public and private organizations have already joined American Express OPEN, the company’s small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday."

Posted by: jade51999 | November 22, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Black Friday, the worst of humanity as people act like animals just to save a few bucks. I'll do my Christmas shopping online.

More about Black Friday:
http://www.cultofmac.com/daily-deals-black-friday-app-16gb-ipad-iphone-freebies/71038
http://www.aneesoft.com/tutorials/ipad/black-friday-deals-2010-holiday-season.html

Posted by: zholy | November 24, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Black Friday, the worst of humanity as people act like animals just to save a few bucks. I'll do my Christmas shopping online.

More about Black Friday:
http://www.cultofmac.com/daily-deals-black-friday-app-16gb-ipad-iphone-freebies/71038
http://www.aneesoft.com/tutorials/ipad/black-friday-deals-2010-holiday-season.html

Posted by: zholy | November 24, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I hope these people enjoy waiting outside in the dark and cold weather. I'll be the one who walks right in the door as the store opens, next to all of you who have foolishly waited outside for hours, if not days.

Unlike you, though, I won't be impulsively spending my money on electronics. I will have done research on the products up for sale, to know if they're worth my money, or if they're just last year's substandard products which the retailers and the manufacturers want to get out of their inventory.

Posted by: momof20yo | November 26, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm not shopping until manufacturing jobs come back to America!

Posted by: imiga | November 26, 2010 3:03 AM | Report abuse

It's about need, necessary, & necessity inside of good conscience. Hopefully everyday will be a good day, even though Good Friday, no more victims anymore.
Prolife in Peaceful against the RIP.

Posted by: andrebudianto | November 26, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Black Friday is madness to the nth degree. I fought the hoards once and swore it off forever.

Then today, my son and I have an hour or so to burn because a golf shop was closed for lunch. We visited a couple of nearby retail stores. The crowds were still around but the good deals had all disappeared. Lose and lose.

Steve DeVane
http://uniquechristmaspresents.net

Posted by: stevedevane | November 26, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

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