Drive around a residential neighborhood and see bright lights already strung up along the sides of rooftops, turn on the radio and listen to the stations already playing holiday music. With Christmas around the corner, people are gearing up to find the best deals for the perfect gifts for everyone on their holiday list.
Black Friday, as it has come to be called, is the title given to the Friday after Thanksgiving.
It is the official start of the Christmas shopping season, and it is supposed to be the busiest shopping day of the year. Many stores open their doors early for customers and close long after their usual store hours in order to accommodate as many customers as possible.
Christina Aquino, an 18-year-old criminal justice major spent last year’s Thanksgiving night in line at Target with dozens of other people. They were all looking to get bargains on gifts for themselves and the ones they love.
‘My favorite thing about Black Friday is that you get better deals than you would any other time of the year, plus it’s kind of fun and exciting the first time you camp outside and sleep in line,’ Aquino said.
For those who are not very familiar on where to go for the best holiday deals, many stores advertise heavily on television and in coupon pamphlets up to a month before December and even more the week of the Thanksgiving holiday. For those who don’t pay attention to commercials or don’t have time to sit and cut coupons, there is another alternative.
There are many sites that are solely dedicated to this special day. Anyone can search Black Friday on the internet and find a list of sources on where to find discounts on the most popular items this Christmas. Sites such Black Friday Ads 2008, BlackFriday.com, and BlackFriday.net list ‘deals of the day’ and feature ads of different stores from a compilation of sources. The Black Friday Ads site gives daily updates on new bargains that have been posted and also allows people to create a personal profile where they can bookmark the deals they see on the site so that they have a list of all the things they plan to buy and where to get them by the time Black Friday arrives. BlackFriday.com links users to published ads of big brand stores for a variety of items such as clothing, cameras, and household appliances that can all be compared for price and quality. Many of these sites also list hours of operation for stores such as Best Buy, Toys R Us and Wal-Mart, and what specific times certain stores offer extra bargains. Often times as a marketing strategy, stores will offer early bird discounts for shoppers who are first to arrive in the store.
Other sites containing information about Black Friday deals also offer shopping tips and advice on how to handle the long lines, avoid large crowds, and how to make the most out of your shopping experience.
For shoppers who prefer avoiding long lines, they should consider doing their holiday shopping in smaller stores not located in malls.
Nicole Volotzky, a 22-year-old business law major, helps run her family furniture store in Chatsworth.
‘With smaller stores, shoppers won’t have to worry about dealing with the crowds. The rush for us usually comes right before Christmas because people have relatives flying into town and they need things to sleep on,’ Volotzky said.
So finish up the Thanksgiving feast, bundle up to brave the cold weather, don’t forget your shopping list, and have fun hunting for bargains on the infamous Black Friday.