Black Friday is hours away, more people are prepping for the midnight runs, camp outs and crowd shoving maneuvers than they are for Thanksgiving at this point, to think otherwise would be foolish. Now, I’m not going to be one of the people who say there shouldn’t be a Black Friday or complain for the people that have to work it then most likely go to the sales anyways. This is America and consumerism rules this nation, it’s a sad but true fact. This is a country full of people that want bigger, better, and more; all I can hope for is that we’ve all seen enough violence in the last few weeks that people will be a little more calm rational when it comes to getting their “deals.”
I put “deals” in quotations because as I’ve been looking through all the Black Friday ads that have been rolling out for the last two or three weeks I am far from impressed with what I am seeing. I’m not going to go into what’s on sale at JcPenny’s or Macy’s because lets be honest, most people fighting their way into store on Black Friday are looking for big screen TV’s, video game consoles, and home entertainment systems. I’m sure there are plenty of people who are looking for other things but it’s those big-ticket items that draw the enormous crowds.
Like I said, I’m not impressed with the deals that I am seeing, most of the TV’s I see aren’t discounted that much and the ones that are, are no where near the quality of the ones that are most desirable. At this point, I expect any flat screen TV to be HD, and at a reasonable price, they have been around long enough that most manufactures have optimized their production and cost nowhere near what they did in the beginning to make. SmartTV’s are a bit newer but adding a wireless Internet connection to any electronic device is second nature for us and I can’t believe that it raises the cost of a TV’s production by that much. So even though many Black Friday ads are boasting anywhere from $150-$300 off the normal price of a TV why are most of them still 400 plus dollars?
I remember that 10 years ago Black Friday wasn’t anywhere near as crazy as it is now, sure malls got packed and store opened early but you never heard of people getting trampled or mobs bum rushing a store entrance and police having to be called in. I think for a lot of people video game systems became a huge draw, with them all jumping in price after the PS2, Xbox, and Wii came out. Stores like EB Games (anyone remember them?) GameStop, and Wal-Mart would offer huge discounts on these systems or throw three or four games on with the purchase of one of the systems. This year I don’t see any true deals on video game consoles, sure you can get a Xbox One at what looks like normal price to me and they throw on a game, same with the PS4. That’s not a deal to me, especially when these are new release games but games that have been out for a month or more already, just about anyone who wanted the game already has one.
I think my biggest disappointment has been with Nintendo’s WiiU, there isn’t any deal at all; it is the same bundle offer they have been offering all year. You would think with the WiiU’s failure to sell Nintendo would give up on quality of sale price for quantity of units sold this Black Friday. If they knocked down the price by $150 I would expect them to sell out of units just about everywhere. Considering they just launched Super Smash Bros. for the WiiU and their Amiibo line, it would be an optimal time to slash the console prices for one day and bank on the availability of a sought after game and accessories. But what do I know, I could be completely wrong about that, even though if I could get a WiiU for $150 off I wouldn’t hesitate then grab Smash Bros and a few Amiibo figures too.
As far as the games go, the deals are not too bad, most places are offering anywhere from $15-$25 off some pretty big titles and more on lesser known or older titles. I think the weakest deals when it comes to games are the places that are offering a gift card with the purchase of their games, really I’m not going to come back and spend more money later when I can go somewhere else and get a lower price now. I may be a somewhat greedy consumer but I’m not a stupid one.
When it comes to computers and tablets I can’t really comment on the deals because I don’t go around shopping for them often, I’ve had the same laptop for 10 years and the same tablet for the last three years. I will say there is a deal for a kids tablet that I am going to try and get my hands on, sorry not going to say which one so I don’t have anymore competition for it. Hopefully those of you that are looking for a new computer or tablet have done your research and know what is a good deal or not.
Overall I can’t see any big deal about this years Black Friday deals, honestly unless you are going to grab one of the doorbuster TV deals the only other reason I would brave the store would be to stock up on DVD’s and Blu-Rays that are only $5-$10. No matter what you do on Black Friday just remember to be safe, patient, and considerate. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
– Joseph Murillo