No worries—Consumer Reports has been tracking Black Friday deals for years and we know all the tricks. Willcox I've been a tech journalist for more years than I'm willing to admit.
Signing up for Black Friday shopping alerts will get you the early word on promotions, coupons, and discounts. The Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers are a great way to find out about deals and promotions.
Retailers will often reward customers who like or follow them with special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives. And of course texts, tweets, and social media posts are an easy way to share Black Friday shopping intel with your friends. Create a budget—and stick to it. Yes, this sounds simple. But Black Friday sales, especially the doorbuster specials available in limited quantities, are designed to get you into a store so that the retailer can sell you something else.
And once there, it's easy to get caught up in the buying excitement. Decide ahead of time how much you want to spend on your Black Friday shopping spree, and do your best to resist impulse buying, especially if you're not sure how good a specific deal is.
If you find that you're too free with your charge cards, try buying with cash this year and see whether you have better self-control. But if you are sufficiently disciplined, buy with a credit card that doubles the manufacturer's warranty and then pay it off before any interest accrues. Check all store policies in advance. It's always good to know a store's price-match and return policies.
We expect more retailers to price-match specific online and in-store deals this year. Almost all of the major retailers have some form of price-match policy, and they've been expanding them almost every year.
But some stores might suspend their price-match guarantees during the Black Friday weekend on certain items, so read the fine print. Check the return and exchange policies for Black Friday sales to make sure that the store won't charge a restocking fee for any item you bring back.
Televisions deserve some special attention because so many people shop for them at this time of year. The TV aisle may have some of the best deals in the entire store—along with a few of the most confusing ones.
Consider a "derivative" TV model. Starting in October, you may see low-priced TVs made specifically for Black Friday, and some are available only through a single retailer. For example, they may have fewer HDMI inputs or come with a simpler remote control. Some of these TVs can be a good deal. It's hard to judge the quality of derivatives and new-for-the-holidays sets, and it's difficult to compare prices, too.
Consumer Reports will report on heavily promoted sets as they come on the market, and help you pick out the better deals. You've just scored an awesome giant-screen 4K TV at an all-time low price, so don't blow your savings by splurging on pricey accessories or extended warranties. This is where retailers make a lot of their money, hence the hard sell.
Beware the cheapest set. It is the day when emergency services activate contingency plans to cope with the increase in workload due to many people going out drinking on the last Friday before Christmas. Contingencies can include setting up mobile field hospitals near City Centre nightspots. Since the start of the 21st century, there have been attempts by retailers with origins in the United States such as Amazon to introduce a retail "Black Friday" as it would be understood by Americans, into the United Kingdom.
Some online and in-shop companies have adopted the American-style Black Friday sale day, although others appear sceptical, with one comment piece in the trade publication Retail Week labelling it "simply an Americanism , which doesn't translate very well. In , more UK-based retailers adopted the Black Friday marketing scheme than ever. Among them were ao. During Black Friday sales in , police forces were called to shops across Britain to deal with crowd control issues, assaults, threatening customers and traffic issues.
They have primary responsibility to keep people safe and they can't rely on the police to turn up and bail them out and that's what happened last night. Asda announced that it would not take part in the Black Friday. Black Friday appears to be growing in popularity year on year in the UK. In Mexico, Black Friday was the inspiration for the government and retailing industry to create an annual weekend of discounts and extended credit terms, El Buen Fin , meaning "the good weekend" in Spanish.
On this weekend, major retailers extend their store hours  and offer special promotions, including extended credit terms and price promotions. The two reported the biggest Black Friday sales in Hundreds of retailers announced their participation in the campaign.
Black Friday is little known in India, as its shopping seasons are different. The busiest times for shopping in India and hence the times with the biggest discounts tend to be Diwali, followed by regional festivals like Ugadi and Pongal in South India, Ganeshotsav in Maharasthra, Baisakhi in Punjab and Onam in Kerala. Over the past decade, Independence day sales on 15 August have become a large attraction, though most sales in India last for a period of one week. The growing number of e-commerce websites and large retail shopping centers has contributed to such sales.
The big e-commerce retailers in India are trying to emulate the concept of shopping festivals from the United States like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon have been offering discounted products on the major festivals in India. According to Google Trends, the interest for Black Friday is rising every year.
Comparing the search volume of the term Black Friday in November and November , the increase is almost 50 percent 22, is the search volume in November and 33, is the search volume in November , according to the Google Adwords. The growing demand is getting more every year in India. French businessmen are slowly inserting the Black Friday consumer craze of the US. Retailers favored the very American term "Black Friday" to "Vendredi noir" in their advertisements. In Germany, "Black Friday" retailer advertisements refer to "Black Week" and "Black Shopping" in English language, with sales lasting an entire week excluding Sundays when most retail stores are closed.
During this sale time, stores keep their normal working hours; and though goods are offered at reduced prices, the prices are no more significantly slashed than normal weekly price reductions. Apple was the first company to run a special Black Friday campaign for the German market in In , swiss retailer Manor was the first to launch a special Black Friday promotion.
The year after, most swiss retailers launched special offers during the Black Friday Week. It is estimated that customers spend around million Swiss Francs in onlineshops alone on Black Friday. In recent years, Black Friday has been promoted in Australia by in-store and online retailers. Twitter users had to use the hashtag osublackfriday and it allowed them to follow along and tweet favourite deals and discounts from stores.
Purchasing online gave customers free shipping and free iTunes gift cards with every purchase. In addition to this, numerous stores in the country run Black Friday promotions in-store and online throughout the country. Black Friday started picking up in New Zealand around In Norway , Black Friday started as a publicity stunt campaign back in to increase the sales to the shopping mall Norwegian Outlet.
Since the introduction, it has been promoted every year in a larger and growing market all over the country. During its first year, it was believed to have attracted an inflow of about 35, regional tourists according to the government's immigration census. Over its first hour run on November 28, , more than 1. There has been growing interest for black Friday in Poland as well.
In Spain joined with some small retailers. The celebration became more famous year by year, till the big retailers grew. In the Netherlands Black Friday was seriously introduced in Some years before there were a couple of big and small retailers that used Black Friday in their marketing proposes. However, with the total of 35 participating stores, can be seen as the year in which Black Friday has started in the Netherlands due to more widespread support of large retailers.
The participating shops have increased to over during the Black Friday period of Black Friday in Belgium is seriously marketed by retailers since After , Black Friday in Belgium has grown strongly. The participating shops have increased to over 70 during the Black Friday period of In Black Friday became widely popular in Latvia.
There was even a Black week and Black weekend sales in shopping centres. Black Friday has been increasingly adopted by stores in Brazil since ,  although not without its share of inflated prices and other scams, especially in its earlier years, earning the nickname " Black Fraude "  Black Fraud or also " Black Furadei ", which comes from the slang word " furada ", meaning a "jam" or tough situation, usually involving money.
It is also common to hear Brazilian people say that prices on Brazilian Black Friday are "half of the double". However, currently, the term "Black Friday" has become so popular in the country that stores have been under closer scrutiny from consumers and cases of known scams have been reduced greatly.
For centuries, the adjective "black" has been applied to days upon which calamities occurred. Many events have been described as "Black Friday", although the most significant such event in American History was the Panic of , which occurred when financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk took advantage of their connections with the Grant Administration in an attempt to corner the gold market.
When President Grant learned of this manipulation, he ordered the Treasury to release a large supply of gold, which halted the run and caused prices to drop by eighteen percent. Fortunes were made and lost in a single day, and the president's own brother-in-law, Abel Corbin , was ruined. The earliest known use of "Black Friday" to refer to the day after Thanksgiving occurs in the journal, Factory Management and Maintenance , for November , and again in Here it referred to the practice of workers calling in sick on the day after Thanksgiving, in order to have a four-day weekend.
However, this use does not appear to have caught on. Around the same time, the terms "Black Friday" and "Black Saturday" came to be used by the police in Philadelphia and Rochester to describe the crowds and traffic congestion accompanying the start of the Christmas shopping season.
In , the city and merchants of Philadelphia attempted to improve conditions, and a public relations expert recommended rebranding the days, "Big Friday" and "Big Saturday"; but these terms were quickly forgotten. Use of the phrase spread slowly, first appearing in The New York Times on November 29, , in which it still refers specifically to "the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year" in Philadelphia. Although it soon became more widespread, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in that retailers in Cincinnati and Los Angeles were still unaware of the term.
As the phrase gained national attention in the early s, merchants objecting to the use of a derisive term to refer to one of the most important shopping days of the year suggested an alternative derivation: Black Friday, under this theory, is the beginning of the period when retailers would no longer be "in the red", instead taking in the year's profits.
In , an internet rumor alleged that the phrase originated in the American south before the Civil War , from the practice of selling slaves on the day after Thanksgiving.
This was debunked by Snopes. Despite frequent attempts to control the crowds of shoppers, minor injuries are common among the crowds, usually as a result of being pushed or thrown to the ground in small stampedes. While most injuries remain minor, serious injuries and even deliberate violence have taken place on some Black Fridays.
In , a crowd of approximately 2, shoppers in Valley Stream, New York , waited outside for the 5: As opening time approached, the crowd grew anxious and when the doors were opened the crowd pushed forward, breaking the door down, a year-old employee was trampled to death.
The shoppers did not appear concerned with the victim's fate, expressing refusal to halt their stampede when other employees attempted to intervene and help the injured employee, complaining that they had been waiting in the cold and were not willing to wait any longer. Shoppers had begun assembling as early as 9: Even when police arrived and attempted to render aid to the injured man, shoppers continued to pour in, shoving and pushing the officers as they made their way into the store.
Several other people incurred minor injuries, including a pregnant woman who had to be taken to the hospital. During Black Friday , a Madison, Wisconsin woman was arrested outside of a Toys 'R' Us store after cutting in line , and threatening to shoot other shoppers who tried to object. She had been asked to leave the store, but refused. He was discovered to also be carrying two knives and a pepper spray grenade.
On Black Friday , a woman at a Porter Ranch , California Walmart used pepper spray on fellow shoppers, causing minor injuries to a reported 20 people who had been waiting hours for the store to open. The incident started as people waited in line for the newly discounted Xbox A witness said a woman with two children in tow became upset with the way people were pushing in line. The witness said she pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the other people in line. On Black Friday , two people were shot outside a Wal-Mart in Tallahassee, Florida , during a dispute over a parking space.
On Black Friday in , a person in Las Vegas who was carrying a big-screen TV home from a Target store on Thanksgiving was shot in the leg as he tried to wrestle the item back from a robber who had just stolen it from him at gunpoint.
The suspect and the dragged officer were treated for shoulder injuries. Three people were arrested. At the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia a fight was caught on camera in which a woman was taken to the ground.
The video also caught a separate, possibly related, fight happening simultaneously. Friday morning on November 25, The shooter fired multiple shots, leaving an SUV covered in bullet holes, but the motives remain unclear. Cottman's year-old brother was also injured. An apparent argument over a parking spot at a Reno Wal-Mart resulted in one of the drivers pulling a weapon who shot and killed a year-old man.
That incident technically occurred before Black Friday on the evening of Thanksgiving. Derrick Blackburn, 19, was later arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon. A 61 year old pharmacist, Walter Vance collapsed and was left for dead by shoppers while being trampled and passed by a stampede, with the exception of an off-duty paramedic and a nurse giving CPR to Vance in a Target store in South Charleston, West Virginia during Black Friday , but died soon after. The day after Thanksgiving as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season may be linked together with the idea of Santa Claus parades.
Parades celebrating Thanksgiving often include an appearance by Santa at the end of the parade, with the idea that 'Santa has arrived' or 'Santa is just around the corner' because Christmas is always the next major holiday following Thanksgiving. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Santa or Thanksgiving Day parades were sponsored by department stores. Department stores would use the parades to launch a big advertising push. Eventually, it just became an unwritten rule that no store would try doing Christmas advertising before the parade was over.
Therefore, the day after Thanksgiving became the day when the shopping season officially started. Thanksgiving Day's relationship to Christmas shopping led to controversy in the s. Retail stores would have liked to have a longer shopping season, but no store wanted to break with tradition and be the one to start advertising before Thanksgiving. For this reason, in , President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a presidential proclamation proclaiming Thanksgiving to be the fourth Thursday in November rather than the last Thursday, meaning in some years one week earlier, in order to lengthen the Christmas shopping season.
Other companies followed with "Black Friday in July" deals which were as good as, or better than, those in November. For many years, retailers pushed opening times on Black Friday earlier and earlier, eventually reaching midnight, before opening on the evening of Thanksgiving. In , Kmart opened at 7: Two years later, a number of retailers began opening at 8: In subsequent years, other stores have followed this trend, opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day, or remaining open all day, beginning in the early morning hours.
Some online stores invest a lot of money in promo campaigns to generate more sales and drive traffic to their stores. However, they often forget about the high loads their sites are going to experience. This just highlights that some retailers have not taken the necessary steps to prepare for Black Friday.
Failing to prepare for peak can cause poor performance, site downtime, and ultimately lost revenue for retailers". Such carelessness results in huge reputational demage.
Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the fourth Thursday of November, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country's Christmas shopping season since Date: Day after U.S. Thanksgiving. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving Day and the Friday before Cyber Monday in the United States. It is a busy shopping day and is a holiday in some states. Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving and has been considered the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season since the early s, but it wasn't until the s that the term "Black Friday" began to be heavily used by stores advertising deep discounts.
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