Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Turning Grey

Every year the same pattern persists as Thanksgiving all too quickly gives way to the consumer holiday shopping spree also known as Black Friday. More so than any other year, the emails came heavy and soon filled my inbox with deals. Actually, the digital deluge began on Monday as pre-sales and teasers streamed across the screen. However, the fact of the matter is that the deals are not nearly as good this year as they have been in the past.

A few years ago I was one of those people who, eager to fill a few holes in what we needed for our new apartment, ventured out on Thanksgiving night to try and stretch our money as far as I could go. That trip was a success as lower prices combined with a few coupons I had on hand allowed us to completely furnish our place as well as check off most of the people on our gift list for the season. With the economy still recovering the discounts were deep especially for those of us who took the time to put a game plan together and leverage every discount available to us. This allowed me to get everything done all while not waiting in a single line.

This year was almost the exact opposite as there was nothing being sold that offered the same kind of bargain. Don’t get me wrong, we still spent a few dollars but not like the flurry of activity from just a few years ago. Everything has pointed to a resurgence in the retail environment and the lack of discounts reflects that change… although that fact didn’t seem to stop people from filling the stores and clogging the roads.

So this year my wife and I did exactly what the stores didn’t want us to do… we stayed home and kept our money in our pockets. The few things that we were keeping an eye on just in case didn’t seem to change much in price so why would we buy now? There is plenty of time for us to look for those things at a later date and there are definitely other things on which we can focus our attention. Maybe part of the equation is that we have changed and our priorities have shifted but at the same time if the deals aren’t there it is not worth the time or the money.