Black Friday?

Sorry, but it’s another moan about ‘American Imports’.

We don’t have Thanksgiving in the UK, at least not yet. Though I am sure they are thinking about ways to sell more turkeys, greeting cards, Quaker hats, and pumpkin pies. If the retail giants could convince the powers that be to add another day off work to the calendar, we would soon be falling in behind the marketing of another imported festival, I have no doubt.

Of greater concern is the very successful establishment of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping spree. This suddenly appeared without warning a few years back, and has inexplicably established itself as part of British culture with no resistance whatsoever. Overnight, people were talking excitedly about ‘Black Friday’ as if it had always been here. Email inboxes were inundated with apparent ‘Special Deals’, ‘Must-have bargains’, and ‘One-day only offers.’ Shortly after, ‘Cyber Monday’ arrived too, giving the retailers a chance to shift all the rubbish that we didn’t fall for, three days earlier.

The news media love all this. They relish showing us people literally fighting over huge televisions, trampling over each other to get that thing that they simply must have. Then they add the serious note, in the interests of ‘balance’. Scammers, con-artists, non-existent bargains, fake goods sold as genuine. The fraudsters love Black Friday more than most. We have long been used to the frenzy of bargain-hunting here. After all, the January Sales have been an institution for as long as I can remember. But we need to sit back, take a breath, and think about what these new trends actually represent.

Shops are far from stupid. In advance of this beanfeast, they bring in lots of shoddy goods. Brands we have never previously heard of, sizes that they couldn’t shift all year, and unusual colours too. The electrical goods are mostly old technology, soon to be superseded by the ‘must-haves’ of 2017. The package sizes are generally smaller, and where genuine bargains actually exist, they are soon sold out, leaving buyers scrambling to get anything, to claim they have secured a ‘deal’. And the supposedly massive discounts have proved to be anything but. Inflated ‘recommended retail’ prices, never previously charged anyway, are cut by impressive percentages, but in many cases are actually higher than they were last week.

So I urge you to resist. Refuse to buy on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Vote with you wallets, purses, and pockets. Let them know you do not believe the hype, and refuse to be led like sheep by the retailers. Fight back, and hopefully we may see an end to this farce. Just say NO.

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50 thoughts on “Black Friday?

  1. The best deals are the one that saves you lots of money, by not spending any money on the so called crazed black Friday and cyber Monday days๐Ÿ˜‚ unfortunately the fools out there don’t get it. Getting trampled by bunch of crazy people, not my idea of the holidays spirit.

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  2. I’m in Spain at the moment and it’s starting to get here too, although the trend now seems to be that there are sales of one type or another everywhere pretty much all the time. I read another post on the same subject this morning. I’m afraid there are many exports I don’t get, and some that are getting way too silly for any place. Proms in nurseries anyone?

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  3. I bought my first camera in New York at B&H on Black Friday. It was actually a really good deal and the exchange rate made it even better.
    I think if you are after something very specific some bargains can be had but I don’t think we do it so well in the UK. I’ve been looking for a new lens but it does seem to be the stuff that retailers just want rid of or even worse, will be cheaper in just a couple of months. Good post Pete.

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  4. Forgive us for the madness. I am happy to report that I would not go near a shopping mall on ‘Black Friday.’ I don’t even like the name. I do confess to knowing people who seem to find great joy in rising way too early to line up for crazy deals that run out later in the day. No thank you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  5. Pete, I’ve never participated in Black Fridayโ€”or Cyber Monday, for that matter. I read an article this week that says that these much hyped commercial days are on the wane, as retailers are now offering bargains earlier in the week, and also extending them beyond the big rush to maintain some sales momentum. I hadn’t heard of Orange Thursday, but it doesn’t surprise me, even though I think few people want to shop on Thanksgiving Day here. An internet source says that holiday sales represent 20% of annual retail industry sales, so it stands to reason that retailers would relish the thought of inducing mass wallet-busting hysteria.

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    1. I think that ‘Orange Thursday’ is a local invention, David. Because we do not celebrate the actual day, they get an extra 24 hours of potential selling in the UK!
      I am studiously ignoring it, and just deleting the emails.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  6. Thankfully we are a little behind in Poland, Christmas is only just starting to catch on and for the most part angled towards the religious side of things. St Nicolas does his rounds on the 6th of December so all that hullabaloo is over and done with well before the sherry comes out. Unfortunately I have the legacy of an English email so I’m still bombarded with marketing.
    Maybe I should try a ‘clean Tuesday deal’ on our soaps? ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. No black friday shopping here, though my photography software sites usually have some money off presets and the like, and the impossible project film for polaroid cameras is also discounted, so that’s the only thing I’ll be looking for. I think the queueing and fighting in the shops is really sad.

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  8. It is the worst “holiday” tradition in the US – get ready for stories of fights breaking out, people being trampled, and other tales of chaos just so we can- to use your phrase – “shift” a bunch of garbage!

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  9. I was writing a post that echoed yours, except it was about Norway. All of a sudden, Black Friday was everywhere. As a bonus, half the shops are advertising “Black Friday week”, because god forgive us if there was a lull between now and Christmas shopping.

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    1. Norway catching on too? There’s no hope for us!
      I just had an email telling me that today is ‘Orange Thursday’!
      They are going to run out of days after seven though…
      Thanks for the comment.
      Best wishes from England. Pete.

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  10. Of all the things to export to you. Sorry about that! I just ignore it. There’s no way I’d travel to a mall or shopping complex to buy. At least we can agree the British Boxing Day is a pretty good reason not to work!
    BTW, I’m having a great time watching ‘The Last Kingdom’ about Alfred the Great and those pesty Danes. Have you seen it? Really good. I was wondering if it was historically somewhat accurate?

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    1. I watched and enjoyed it, Cindy. I am sure that many historians might disagree, but as far as televised history drama goes, it’s good enough for me!
      I especially liked David Dawson, as the gentle Allfed. The hiding in the fens is very accurate too.
      Best wishes, Pete.
      (I just had an email telling me that today is ‘Orange Thursday’. Aaaaargh!)

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        1. The main characters are certainly genuine. There is ‘dramatic licence’ with others no doubt.
          Much of England was under Danish/Viking rule for centuries. Driving around this area, you will see villages with Nordic names still, such as Hindolveston, Scratby, and Hemsby. Even the county name, Norfolk, comes from it being known as the area where the ‘Men of the North’ lived. ‘The Northern folk’ became Norfolk!
          Historically yours, Pete. x

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    2. Hi Cindy, butting in here, The Last Kingdom series is based on a series of books by Bernard Cornwell, an excellent historical fiction writer. He does his research very well so tends to be accurate. Having read the whole series of books I can tell you that they haven’t done a bad job of bringing it to TV, but as usual the books are so much more. Originally called The Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories, I believe they’ve now been renamed The Last Kingdom series, and I can heartily recommend them.

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        1. I haven’t read that one, but have done his Grail quest series (3 books) and a few other stand alone like Azincourt, but The Last Kingdom series is my absolute fave, looking forward to the last one in the series when it’s out.

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  11. You have followed America’s sales after their Thanksgiving. Sometimes when you buy at a bargain you don’t usually get the best of the sales. Some sellers are there to dispose of old stocks.

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