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Black Friday Hype

Recently I've been reading a lot about all of the great deals that many retailers will be offering their customers come this November 26, but I cannot help but wonder if it's really worth all the fuss of getting up between 3-4 am and fighting the mob just to save 50%. Especially given the state of the economy and the drop in holiday spending from years past, it would seem to me that these sales, or similar discounts, will be around throughout the coming weeks to help promote increased consumer spending than we've seen throughout the past couple months.

Last year I had my eyes set on a discounted flat screen television that was priced about 60% below it's current typical retail price, but when I arrived at the store early Friday morning, I was shocked to see over 100 TVs sitting on the shelf. Honestly, when I went back that day at about 1pm in the afternoon, there was still a decent pile of these TVs that had not yet been claimed. I'm also aware that some retailers issue tickets to many "doorbuster" items to those customers who have been waiting in line well before the store's opening time, which makes it necessary to arrive at the store nearly 2-3 hours before the already obscene 4pm store opening.

While I can understand that each retailer does things differently, and that the manner in which these sales are conducted has evolved over the years following some of the fiascos that have hit the news, part of me is very skeptical that the time and effort put into obtaining these discounted items is actually worth the discount itself. I feel that a lot of the buzz surrounding the stores' sales is just that, and the illusion of getting a "great deal" coupled with the "race to be the first one" is all we really get when we travel out the morning of Nov. 26.