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Black Friday

29 November 2013

For visitors from outside the US, the Friday after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. It kicks off the Christmas shopping season.

It’s called Black Friday because it’s the day narrow-margin retailers go from a loss (denoted by red numbers) to a profit (denoted by black numbers) for the year.

The Monday following Thanksgiving represents a more recent phenomenon, called Cyber Monday. It’s a huge day for online retailers because, after a long holiday weekend, people go back to work and take advantage of high-speed Internet access to buy a lot of things online.

Whether it’s Black Friday, Whatever Saturday or Cyber Monday, if you’re buying something from Amazon, PG receives a small affiliate commission if you click on the link in the right column of TPV to get to Amazon.

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12 Comments to “Black Friday”

  1. I never realized that’s why it was called Black Friday, but it makes sense. I always assumed it was the black hole my pocket book became. :)

    I always click the link! The absolutely least thing I can do for all the wonderful informaiton you give us year round!

    • Here in Germany, it’s mostly US-based retailers like Amazon and eBay offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, often on the wrong days, too. For example, Amazon Germany just sent me a mail advertising “Cyber Monday week”, which is just flat out ridiculous. Personally, I suspect that it’s a case of corporate HQ in the US mandating that there must be a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale and local manager trying to make the best of it. For example, eBay’s ad campaign for their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales in Germany does not even mention either word.

      I’m not a fan of transferring US-phenomena such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday to other countries. Black Friday and Cyber Monday make sense in the US, because a lot of people don’t have to work because of the long Thanksgiving weekend. Neither makes a whole lot of sense in countries which don’t have Thanksgiving or don’t celebrate it in late November.

      Meanwhile, we all have our own native big shopping days. For Germany, the four Advent Saturdays (the first is tomorrow) as well as Christmas Eve are the biggest shopping days of the year.

      • It’s ‘Black Friday’ in Canada too.
        I’d prefer they didn’t pick up this ‘holiday’. Usually here it’s Boxing Day (Dec 26th) that’s the big discount shopping day.

        • Boxing Day is a public holiday in Germany, so no shopping then. Though the remaining days between Christmas and New Year are usually big shopping days as well, because lots of people don’t have to work between Christmas and New Year and want to spend gift cards and Christmas money.

      • They might be doing it precisely because it’s *not* common practice. Having big discount sales when nobody else is having one is more effective than when everybody does it. Which is why Black Friday sales in recent years have been spreading through the entire week.
        Plus, a lot of the deep discount product sales are the result of special big volume deals with suppliers so extending the sale geographically increases the volume of merchandise and the leverage in the negotiation. A common practice at Best Buy and elsewhere is that some of the most enticing deals are for unique models or configurations created solely for the sale.
        Lots of moves are possible when you’re moving merchandise in massive lots in a short period of time. Some are even logical. :)

  2. Saturday is Small Business Day. Can u hear:
    Independent Bookseller?

  3. The fact that so many people believe “Black Friday” is called that because it’s the day retailers leave the “red” is a great example of successful marketing:

    http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/the-origins-of-black-friday/

    I did just read that retailers’ early sales are lending Thanksgiving a new name: “Grey Thursday.”

    • Interesting.

      From from disastrous events to worker absenteeism to super bad traffic to generating profits.

      Quite a journey that little phrase has made.

      Thanks for the link, Will!

  4. Yep, what Cora said. It’s Black Friday here in south-east Asia as well, though only through internet retailers. While we don’t have (US) Thanksgiving, it appears that Black Friday has become a global virus.

  5. Many of my family members (of the feminine variety) have adapted Black Friday into a social event. Of course, this event is still steeped in shopping. Which is a facet of capitalism. Which is a good thing.

    And, I particularly like PG’s capitalist, self-promotional mention of his Amazon Affiliate Button.

    Here’s hoping PG gets a ton of holiday Amazon clicks through TPV.

    Dan

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