Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Black Friday!

One of the best things about the Thanksgiving holiday for me is Black Friday, but not for the reasons you’d think.

I love it because it’s one of the few days each year when we have the day off and nothing pressing on our agendas. The day is usually ours to squander as we see fit, and that is a very rare commodity these days.

Our ideal Black Friday involves sleeping in, followed by lounging in our PJ’s, consuming mass quantities of coffee, and pondering the eternal question; “Is it too early to start on those leftover desserts?” The answer, my friends, is that it’s never too early.

What I don’t like about Black Friday is fighting the crowds at the malls and the big box stores in search of bargains. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. Although there are some great bargains out there, the really good ones (like $179 laptops) are always in short supply, and you need to be in line on Thanksgiving Day just to be a contender when the store opens on Friday. No thanks.

It’s not worth it to me to miss out on Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family and the annual after Thanksgiving slouch fest, just to get a good deal on some material item. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I can afford to pass up any bargains, it’s just that we’ve found out that: A) The downtime is more important to us, and B) A lot of the deals are available online.

Last year we were in need of some Apple products for the holidays, so I thought I'd check out their Black Friday sale and maybe save a little coin. Apple loves to shroud their events in secrecy, and this one was no different. They sent out an email a few days before the holiday that said to check out their website on Friday morning for great deals, so when we awoke, fashionably late, we got on line and found that there was indeed a substantial savings on quite a few items.

Being as it was already late, I called our local Apple retail store to see if the lines were out the door. I found out that they weren’t, but I also found out that the Apple store won't give you a corporate discount along with the Black Friday sale price. That was a bit of a bummer, but the sale prices were still good enough to make us want to saddle up and head down there. That’s when the very helpful sales associate suggested that we log in to the Apple site through our discount program and see if we could get our discount and the sale price that way.

Guess what? We could!

I should have tried to purchase it online right from the get go, but I had some preconceived notion that the best deals could only be had in person. Boy, was I wrong. We ended up getting some great deals, plus the shipping was free. Major items coming directly from Apple (like Macs and iPods) arrive very quickly, usually in just 2-3 days, even if they need to be engraved. By the way, my iPod has “Stayed home on Black Friday and still got this cheaper than you!” on the back.

So, it seems that in this weakened economy Cyber Monday has now become Cyber Weekend for most online merchants, and that’s good with me. Don’t spread it around too much though, I still like to see those shots on the news of the people in line outside of the malls, wrapped up in parkas and trash bags, waiting for the hunt to begin. Now that’s entertainment.

Ooh, gotta go. The news is coming on again!

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