November 27, 2006
What Happens on Black Friday Should Stay on Black Friday
Posted by Christine Hurt

According to marketers, the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday and the Monday after is Cyber Monday (see Gordon's post last year on Cyber Monday).  Yesterday, however, I had the opportunity to do some holiday shopping, and I felt like I was carrying a tray of Margaritas around the neighborhood at 8:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning.  I suppose that some of the craziness last Friday is due to a mob mentality:  we're all here in line, and my overspending looks like nothing compared to yours.  This craziness, however, does not extend to last night after dinner.

On Thursday, my mother and I saw that Wal-Mart was advertising as a "door-buster" a DVD/TV combination in your choice of Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob SquarePants for $79.88.  This seemed like quite a bargain to us, but neither of us wanted to get up at 5:00 a.m. to stand in line for it.  So, we let it go.  When we checked the website mid-morning, the TVs were "out of stock."  Darn.  On a lark, I stopped in to the Wal-Mart last night to see if any sets were left over, and to my surprise there was a whole stack of them.  Although a rumpled sign told me that they were $79.88 from 6-11 a.m. Friday morning only, they were still $79.88 at the register.  However, I felt no sense of shopping victory lugging my cart with one of each for my kids (presents from my mom).  I felt very conspicuous and kind of dirty standing in line with TWO TELEVISIONS behind a woman buying butter and a man buying lighter fluid.  I needed the roar of the crowd.

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