The ramblings of a giant squid…
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Black Friday is bollocks

Current Events, Friends-Romans-Countrymen

I was out last night with Squidette.  We needed to pick up a new power supply.  Normally this would be a trivial task.  Necessary research was done online and we arrived at the store… to find a long line of shoppers seemingly being allowed entrance in dribs and drabs.  Yes, we had stumbled on some Black Friday Bullshit ™!

First off, let me state, that I don’t line up to get in to a store.  There is no deal so awesome that I’ll wait in line for it at a merchant.  Perhaps I miss some opportunities, but I value my time very highly, and wasting it to stand in line to spend money just doesn’t work for me.

But that’s not why this Black Friday thing is bullshit.  It’s bullshit because:

  • The last Thursday in November is a normal working day, and so is the last Friday, because I’m in Canada; and
  • The sales you get on Black Friday aren’t as good as the ones you get a month later between Christmas and the end of the year.

Let’s look at those two points.  The first one is quite a salient point.  Black Friday came about in the US because their Thanksgiving is on a Thursday which strands the last Friday of the month.  Since many people skyve off or take a vacation day, it became a great day for people to shop. That led to merchants offering sales to attract business.  It makes good sense – IN THE USA.  The fact of those sales led Canadian merchants to do it because of merchant-penis-envy and the fact that US online retailers could effectively take business from Canadian merchants.  People don’t have Thursday or Friday off here normally, so unlike the USA, Canadians actually have to go out of their way for Black Friday.

Why that causes Canadians to line up in the November cold, however, eludes me.  It eludes me because the sales aren’t that great (even in the USA).  There’s always better deals after Christmas.  If someone has the patience to stand in line for a discount in November, surely they have the cojones to wait one more month.  Let’s face it, these aren’t life-critical purchases we’re talking about.  People are standing in line to buy gadgets.

I’d like to see a swift end to Black Friday in Canada.  Here’s a better idea to replace it:  give better prices all year round, and boost your sales that way.  You know… make prices competitive, and people will buy from you instead of importing some meaningless American consumer greedfest.

As it turned out, because Canada Computers had the big line, we went to Best Buy, which was open and line free.  We purchased our power supply and were on our way.  The line cost my usual merchant some business.

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