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What is Black Friday

Updated on May 8, 2015
Black Friday Best Buy
Black Friday Best Buy | Source

Black Friday Holiday

Black Friday is a major shopping day in which both brick and mortar and online stores offer steep discounts on products and services to kickstart the Christmas shopping season.

Black Friday always falls on the day after Thanksgiving.

When did Black Friday Start?

Black Friday is not an official holiday, though many companies will offer the day after thanksgiving off and/or employees will take the additional day.

Although there is no complete single consensus on the origin of black friday, there are sources which point to the city of Philadelphia in the 1950's. During one Thanksgiving holiday period, the city had heavy sales and promotions directly following Thanksgiving day, which had residents flooding the streets and sidewalks going shopping. Here, city police dubbed the name, "Black Friday" and it has stayed that way ever since.

This is not however the first of the heavy shopping crowds around the holiday season. Going earlier in time to 1924, the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the day after became the un-announced, unofficial start to the holiday shopping season.

A common misconception of the name lends itself to the idea that black Friday is the day retailers come out of the red and into the black - or the first day in the year in which they turn a profit. One would hope most successful businesses turn a profit well before the final weeks of the year.

Black Friday Apple Store
Black Friday Apple Store | Source

Why do Companies offer the Sales

As the trend of shoppers on this day began to increase, companies jumped on the opportunity to attract large crowds to their stores. After all, they don't want to see their own competition taking in all the profits.

Although prices are steeply discounted, many times to the lowest in the year and some items are sold at a loss, the volume of customers entering any given store which offers black friday discounts is more than worth the reduced margins.

How does Black Friday Currently Work?

In modern times, Black Friday has become less defined and more expanded. The idea of a one-day only sale has gone out the window, and stores are now opening earlier and earlier - many offering black friday specials on Thanksgiving day. Black Friday deals have expanded to online stores, such as the online versions of brick and mortar stores best buy and macy's, to online-only retail giants such as

How should I Shop on Black Friday?

For those looking to get a real bargain, this day - or week for that matter, must be planned out very carefully. Black Friday advertisements are typically available online for all major stores a few weeks to a month or so in advance of the day. There are many websites out there scanning the papers and web for ads of all major stores, and posting them so you can plan your shopping.

In order to get a great deal, you must be early. Many of the "doorbuster" deals listed on advertisements are available in extremely limited quantities, and are intended to draw in crowds to the store. Customers often line up as early as 10pm of Thanksgiving day for the opening of a store the next day to snag one of these doorbusters.

In recent years, shopping on Black Friday has become somewhat easier due to the internet. Online, you will find many of the doorbuster deals available, so long as you are one of the first to put a product in your shopping cart. If you can get all of your shopping done online - it is highly recommended. Black Friday is one of the toughest times to go shopping because of the traffic, packed parking lots, and long lines at stores.

I would personally recommend They tend to have similar doorbuster deals on their website. The caveat is the deals are not listed ahead of time. They are slowly released hour by hour, so you have to constantly monitor the site.

Black Friday Advertisement
Black Friday Advertisement | Source

Cyber Monday Deals

Missed the in-store or online deals? Don't fret! There are plenty of more opportunities to acquire the products you are looking for at heavily discounted prices. A new shopping holiday, called Cyber Monday is a second wave of black Friday - which started as an online only holiday. On Cyber Monday, customers can shop for amazing deals on the internet all day long. Many brick and mortar stores will offer Cyber Monday deals in store as well, or offer deals on their websites, available for in-store pickup.

Cyber Monday deals tend to last the entire week after Thanksgiving so there is plenty of opportunity to shop.

Holiday Shopping Wrap Up

To wrap things up, when preparing for this year's holiday shopping season, here's what you should do:

1) Search Black Friday Deals in Google the month before Black Friday and begin planning a driving route to any stores you may want to visit.

2) Keep your computer handy when Thanksgiving week comes, as deals will start rolling out online - I'd recommend

3) Go! Shop on black Friday, but don't get disappointed if you miss any of the deals.

4) Plan your attack for Cyber Monday, and order any remaining items for your holiday shopping season.

5) Breathe! You're done with your holiday shopping and have saved yourself a hefty chunk of change.

Have you ever retrieved a doorbuster deal on Black Friday?

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