When Black Friday Comes

A couple thoughts on the most frenzied commercial day of the year.

1. If it’s fun for you, then go have your fun. As you do, spare a moment for the poor bastards who had to show up at the stores at absolutely ridiculous hours to wait on your ass. It’s not an easy gig. Be nice to them.

2. Personally speaking, the idea of lining up in the cold in the middle of the night in front of a store in order to be the first to grab a 30% off blender fills me with the sort of existential dread that’s usually reserved for thoughts about the mocking absence of a benevolent god. So, no, you won’t be finding me Black Friday shopping, ever.

3. What Black Friday has mostly done for me in recent years is remind me of how much stuff I do have, and how little interest I generally have in adding to my already ridiculous pile of stuff. I’m not going to tsk-tsk people for wanting stuff; as already noted, I own lots of stuff, so if I was going to tsk-tsk people for it, they could correctly turn around and smack me in the head with the beam in my eye. I’m saying that personally, I’ve mostly reached a certain level of material sufficiency: I have what I want, and don’t typically want what I don’t have, so the commercial orgy of Black Friday leaves me even more cold than it would otherwise. Yes, this means I am very lucky. I recognize that.

4. One category that makes me a liar per point three: Electronics, because I am a big nerd and, to paraphrase Charlie Stross, I frequently have to make a saving throw against ooooh shiny. Indeed, this is the shiny I have been circling recently, on the (almost certainly arguable) basis that I need a new laptop. Another category: Books. I mean, of course.

5. However, neither of those are going to inspire me to hurl myself into the frenzy of Black Friday. Rumor is, there will still be books and electronics available after today.

6. Which is of course the other thing. I will almost certainly go Christmas shopping to get gifts for family and friends, but I’ll do it on a day where there is not a heedless scrum of bargain hunters bludgeoning each other for savings, because I can. One of the nice things about being a writer and working from home is that I can go shopping for things at 10am on a Wednesday. Or 3pm on a Thursday! The options are endless!

7. All of which means today, my Black Friday plans are stay home, watch some movies, pet the cats and amuse the wife, who still has her foot in that surgical boot of hers. Seems like the better plan.

70 Comments on “When Black Friday Comes”

  1. You have stuff? How do you fit in with the Bill O’Reilly white people in the minority and people wanting stuff agenda cobblers he was punting not too long ago?
    Anyway enjoy your movies. Which ones are they?

  2. I’m one of the worker bees today, but I’m not in retail, thanks be to TPTB. Also, my mom dragged me out of the house at 5 AM from the ages of 6-17, for Black Friday, and I swore, much like Scarlett in the carrot field, that upon reaching adulthood I would never do it again. And I haven’t.

    Anytoot, I’ve got too much stuff. I need a dumpster and a SVdP truck, not more more stuff.

    Enjoy your day with the family, John.

  3. Ah, the joys of misanthropy! I have a small circle of friends and there’s only two family members I need to shop for, and one of them is my wife’s mother, and my wife handles that. (The other one is, obviously, my wife.) My friends are all good geeky types who are happy with books, gew-gaws, etc, which are carefully hand-selected for their interests.

    I had to hit the McDonald’s drive through yesterday, and I did tell the person there I was grateful she was working Thanksgiving (even though I knew it wasn’t exactly her choice, the economy being what it is), and that I hoped she at least got time and a half for working on a holiday. She smiled politely and made it clear I should get a move on, since there were cars behind me. (I worked retail for several years, and holidays are always OODLES of fun, especially when you’re not on commission, so you work three or four times as hard for the exact same income.)

  4. I am actually about to head out shopping now, but its never really bad here, I go later in the morning after the nutcases have already gotten most of the doorbusters. I have to get my boys yearly quantity of games, we manage to save a few hundred bucks usually and honestly its not usually any more crowded than your average Friday here.

  5. Oh, that convertible IS shiny.

    I was at Best Buy the other day and a Microsoft consultant was there. He gave me a demo of Windows 8 on the Nokia Lumia 920 then on his Surface. Man, Windows 8 is NICE. As a mobile platform, it’s completely different from the fairly similar iOS and Android platform. Data aggregation is different, the displays are cool, and even Bing looked neat. I was less thrilled with it on the Surface, but it was still way better than I expected.

    I think I may just grab that Lumia. I made my saving roll that night but… we can’t make our throws every time. You know?

  6. Really? You’d buy a Windows Hate laptop? Not even a roll-bar could make me do that. Besides, with your track record in airports, do you really want to buy another high-end computer for some nice baggage agent?

    That said, kudos to Dell for including the new Ivy Bridge chips with the Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics.

    Why shop at all? The Right tells me I voted for Stuff & Things. I expect they’ll be at my doorstep any day now.

  7. I can’t really think of anything that would induce me to go shopping today. I actually take things a step further and try to avoid all retail stores for the entire stretch between Thanksgiving and February. I’m planning to get most of my holiday shopping done Sunday at the local Renaissance Festival, and anything that I don’t get there will be bought online.

  8. The Wall Street Journal had a report showing that more than a 1/3 of the items being pimped as Black Friday Specials were available for *less* at the exact same stores earlier in the year. Add to that the number of “deals” that are the exact same price, toss in the crap (last years model, knock-offs etc) and you are down to a tiny fraction of hullabaloo that would be considered a deal. But never underestimate the stupidity of a sizable portion of the American buying public.

    But hey! If a few get trampled to death every year it may be self correcting.

  9. I hadn’t realized how long people were willing to stand in line for Black Friday deals until I was watching the news last night. Guy got in line at 11 am to wait for the local mall to open at 12:30 am–and he was third in line. Can’t say it’s my idea of a good time, either.

    I need to go shopping at some point today. Usually I hit up Target for Walmart for most of our staples, but I think that will wait until Saturday.

  10. While I admit I am going shopping today, it is to pick up a case of my favorite wine from my favorite wine store in Brooklyn. The likelihood of there being a crowd there is remote. I’ve never been and could never be a Black Friday shopper – I have a specific wee bit of ochlophobia/demophobia.

    …which is kind of nice to trot out when the parentals want to shop…

  11. Having worked retail for 6 years before trading it in for a desk job, working on Black Friday is the worst of all punishments. Black Friday does not bring out the best in people.
    I’m working today but thatnkfully the desk job keeps me separate from the shopping hoardes.
    Have a nice food-recovery day.

  12. I’m with you on almost all of this. I’m always wanting new books, but with the advent of the KPD program, I end up getting plenty for nothing, so I’m generally content. What I do want desperately is an MP3 player on which I can put my entire music collection, rather than having to split it up like I’ve had to do – why is it so difficult to find a dedicated MP3 player with more than 8 gigs? (good grief, can you believe that? Thinking 8 gigs is insufficient? I can remember when it was considered that having 500 megs was so much space, how would we fill it all! Hehehehehe) I always stay home today, too – and if I had, for some reason, weakened and wanted to go out, I couldn’t anyway ’cause my husband had to take our car and go work a double shift. So, here I am and here I stay! Whee! Just need to finish clearing out my e-mail and then it’s back to reading.

  13. Hey, Scalzii – Tamora Pierce and I are at Darkovercon, so we have our own form of “Black Friday” – driving to Baltimore from upstate NY after Thanksgiving Dinner past all the Bargain Hunters, only to get up early for the con Friday! While it’s nice that Starbucks opens late at night to sell coffee, you really don’t want to get caught in the endless line of exhausted, food-coma’d shoppers behind the wheels of their cars wanting their Pumpkin Spice Lattes….

    All I can say is – WTF, man? Order it online, already….

  14. @mintwitch – in order to boycott WalMart, wouldn’t you have to shop there in the first place…?

    WalMart’s been The Evil Empire ever since they started shutting down locally-owned businesses in the Eighties.

  15. My daughter has an interesting take on this day – to her, it’s like going to one of those big music festivals with enormous crowds, where you like some of the music, and there is a chance that you might hear something new that catches your ear.( In her case, it’s the potential bargains that call out to her, of course.) She knows that it will be crowded and hectic, but it’s a break in her working life and she is willing to put up with the hassles. Hope she has a good time; I know I wouldn’t.

  16. “7. All of which… movies, [b]pet the cats and amuse the wife,[/b] who…”

    So, it’s petting the cats that amuses the wife? Shouldn’t htere be a comma in there? Unless… Ohhhh: “petting” the “cats” o.0

    (Not offended if this gets moderated, but I just. Couldn’t. Help. It. Forgive my weakness.)

  17. I’m going with the family to try to snag a couple of Nook’s on sale for the kids. We would just order on-line, but they are out at the moment. We also got a good deal on a camera on-line. All of this is stuff we were going to buy anyway.

    I think the crowds who are waiting in line are there just for the sport of it. They want an excuse to run around and be rude to people. I wouldn’t really matter what is on sale.

  18. I’ve been wanting one of those Dell Convertibles for a while. I’ve had a boost to my “ooh shiny” saving throw in my budget couldn’t facilitate the purchase (hopefully to change soon!).

    @katyasozaeva – If you can find a cell phone that allows you to change out the memory card you can upgrade the chip for about $50. My last Nokia was my MP3 player more than it was my cell phone.

  19. Not only am I horrified at the idea of shopping anywhere for anything today, which I am, but my cursory research shows me that Black Friday Deals are often a rip off. Yeah, they might have four or five TVs or blenders at 90% off. You won’t get them. The other prices? I had to replace my laptop (5 years old, a good service life) last month. I went to look this morning to see if I should feel bad about the price I paid, and discover that the same configuration’s Special Black Friday Price is $50 more than I paid. So now I feel superior. I suppose I should thank them for that.

  20. Wow, is Dell charging up to $300 for the upgrade from 128gb to 256gb SSD drive on the model with the i7 processor or am I missing something else in the tech specs?

  21. Well no notice so far of shoppers getting crushed going through doors. The is a report of someone leaving a 2 year old alone in a car while rushing into a Kmart to buy a TV. A few other reports of general idiocy but nothing yet that’s on par with a Who concert in Cincinnati.

  22. @Argon – you also get an upgrade on the RAM from 4GB to 8GB. There may be other specs that aren’t shown on the comparison grid.

  23. @mintwitch

    I’m aware of the political ramifications of shopping at Walmart, thank you .I’m not shopping there today because the place is just going to be overrun. However, I’m unemployed and not rich enough to shop exclusively at our local grocery store, or farmers market. I buy meats and produce elsewhere, but shopping for canned & packaged goods at places like Walmart and Target helps my budget considerably. If you can afford to make politically purer choices, bully for you.

    Frankly, the Walmart I shop at helped bring business back to a dying outdoor mall, which had lost both of its local department stores a few years before. The place had pretty much become an unused parking lot. Yes, they’re “big box” stores, but they’ve created a lot more commerce for the area in general.

  24. @ John Scalzi

    Sorry I dumped on your ooooh shininess like a certified Grinch. I spent so many years designing applications for Windows Server that I have a visceral loathing of the OS. I’m sure it’s a swell laptop, though I couldn’t personally stomach spending that kind of dough for any computer, but then I’m a cheapskate. Happy nerd-toy lusting.

  25. At least the Dell is cheaper to lose, compared to a MacBook Pro or Air of roughly equivalent capabilities.

  26. Twenty two years ago, I waited in line overnight… at an adoption agency, who had ten openings for prospective parents the next morning. We were number 32 in line, I think. By morning there were over 250 people. The agency changed their policies after that, and we adopted my son about a year later, through an open adoption where we found the birth mother (another sf fan) ourselves, and had the agency push the paperwork (in those days, only agency adoptions were allowed in our state.).

    Somehow,standing in line for anything less world-changing seems a waste of time for me now.

  27. I might have to go out for milk later … but other than that, I’m at home. I worked retail back in the early 1970s, before “Black Friday” became a public thing, it was just The Day After Thanksgiving When Christmas Things Were Finally Available! And it was horrible.

  28. The mall is about 2 blocks from our library. I don’t expect the library to exactly be overrun today, but we may end up being involuntary overflow mall parking. I await Teh Horror when we lock the lot after closing; there are usually 2 or 3 people who are ignorant of the library hours and get locked in on days like this. If I shamble over to the mall, it will be to renew membership for our local Friends of the Library; they have a bookstore there. DH has closed the computer repair store today, because anyone there would spend most of their time playing online games. Many years ago I swore mighty oaths: that I would not shop on Black Friday, and that I would not attempt to fly within a week of major holidays.

  29. I’m spending my day working in a nice quiet office and finishing up my reading of the Incredible Beta Male post. What a HOOT. Destined to go down in blog history.
    I hate shopping. Sometimes I ignore my large family’s Christmas wish lists and everybody gets a book.

  30. @ timeliebe: Tamora Pierce??

    Now I would wait in line quite some time for a car ride with her, I think!

    But, otherwise, I am going to avoid the crush.

  31. The internet does allow for one to get some of the great deals without the cold or the terrible hours.

    Sure, there will still be DVDs tomorrow, but $9.99 for a recent TV season was too good to pass up. (I just won’t get it for at least a week.)

  32. I’m not shopping today. I took a vow to never shop Black Friday. I’m working but it’s a desk job and you’re right, I don’t think the Library will be overrun today.

    (I have a problem resisting “the shinies” too but that is kept in check by my hatred of crowds.)

  33. @katyasozaeva said “why is it so difficult to find a dedicated MP3 player with more than 8 gigs?”

    *Flips through some handy catalogs* Okay that is weird. My six year old ipod has 20GB of space and it doesn’t do anything else. Maybe you can find something used that fits your needs?

  34. I’ve been keeping an eye out for deals regarding e-readers and e-books, as I recently unburdened myself of three bookshelves worth of paperbacks. Ultimately, however, I find the prospect of line-hopping to scoop up nine dollar purses and twelve dollar sweaters (as my spouse did at 5 AM) to be on par with getting infected teeth pulled by an alcoholic dentist in the throes of the DT’s.

  35. One of the nice things about being a fan of computer games (in addition to, well, all other kinds of games, really) on Black Friday, is that when the digital download services have their Black Friday sales, I can get the games I want from the comfort of my nice, warm chair, with a cup of coffee, and without having to worry about going out and fighting crowds in the rain and the cold.

    @egl said “My six year old ipod has 20GB of space and it doesn’t do anything else.”

    Yeah – a lot of MP3 players these days tend to not have more storage than 8GB built in, though some of them have the option to use a SD card for additional storage (up to, like, 16 GB or so). Unfortunately, even with the advances in solid state hard drives, nobody’s really done an MP3 player to take advantage of this with, say, an MP3 player with a 120GB SSD (which would theoretically put it over the iPod classic, which IIRC uses a magnetic hard drive).

  36. Today is laundry and writing, and also sitting around watching Netflix or working my way through Dragon Age 2. I have friends who decided to brave Black Friday because they need to replace their TV, and I wish them luck, but I have a pretty huge aversion to standing in line, and there’s nothing I really need right now.

  37. There is a mashup of Gangnam Style/2 Legit 2 Quit on iTunes. I’m about to listen to it. Perhaps dancing to that would be sufficiently silly to amuse your wife?

    As for the rest of the post, I am firmly in the “if they offer online deals on Black Friday, they get my business. I am not leaving my house” camp. It’s nice and cozy here, with lots of geeky, fabulous company. (F’rex, I ordered one of my Christmas presents–my mother is not comfortable shopping online–and got something for her at decent discounts. Whee!)

  38. I once got on line four hours early for Tori Amos tickets. I think that’s the only line like this I’ve been in. However, I’m now trying to imagine a scenario at a bookstore that would appeal so much that I would camp out for it (which wouldn’t involve, say, Virginia Woolf coming back from the dead or something).

  39. “…stay home, watch some movies, pet the cats and amuse the wife…”

    Any day where the plan looks like this sounds like a very good day to me.

    I could be wrong; I have neither cats nor a wife.

  40. Portland, OR is home to a group of craft distillers. They are having their own “Black Friday” event which involves a number of local small businesses that specialize in food and drink with a few local craftsmen thrown in. This is where I was going to head today because I am big believer in consumable gifts – especially because I have the good fortune to live in a part of the world that does the local food thing really, really well. So I take home local mustards, jams, wines, cheeses, and chocolates. They always seem welcomed (or at least no one has said – dear god in heaven whatever you do, no more almond toffee!). So I get the double pleasure of giving a gift and supporting local folks. The only reason I am not out and about at the event is that it is pouring down rain and I am fighting off a cold, making this a perfect day for reading a book in front of the fireplace.

  41. Thank you, especially for point 3. I won’t be joining the throng. This is partly because I’m mostly giving people soap that I made myself but largely because I am lucky.

  42. I “did” Black Friday once, about 5 years ago, with my husband. (His insistence.) Even then, we got to the first store at like 8am (my insistence), so it’s not like we were completely crazy. Vowed I’d never go again. We already have too much stuff, and it’s just not worth it to me to battle all that crazy. Generally speaking, I just go get something when we need it. Or want it, depending on the price.

    Today I ventured out to a couple stores around 4pm, just because I wanted to get out of the house with the toddler, and the park was too cold. Got some clothes that we need, and the clothes happened to be on sale. Wasn’t planning on that, but I’ll take it.

  43. I don’t believe in Black Friday. But I did venture out for Friday afternoon – As for the item in point 4, if you didn’t already purchase it, you might be better off with the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga. Dell’s consumer electronics have a horrible horrible reputation for reliability and quality (esp. with me, as I’ve spent the last 4 years fixing Dell laptops for family members – every 6 weeks or so one of those puppies dies and I have to figure out why – and I only have 4 family members that have Dell Laptops).

  44. My XPS 12 arrived Tuesday, and I am generally pretty happy with it. Getting a decent resolution monitor on a 12″ ultraportable would have really been enough for me, but the rotating screen works surprisingly well and was a nice addition. There are thinner ultrabooks out there – my wife’s MacBook air and Dell’s own XPS 13 both come to mind – but the bit added thickness seems worth the price for the rotating screen. If what you want is a tablet this is going to be a bit disappointing (too big) but if you want a laptop that can spend time as a passable tablet it is a pretty good setup. A friend of mine has a Surface Pro (works at Studio B at MS so the damn bastard got one ahead of general availability) and having played around with it if what you are really looking for is a tablet that can be passable as a laptop (the inverse of the XPS 12) it would be worth the wait.

    Of course that is all predicated on actually liking Windows 8. Personally I am a fan of Microsoft’s new design language, having owned both a Windows phone 7 and now a Windows phone 8, but it isn’t for everyone. Personally I am glad that someone finally broke from the old Xerox design of rows of icons – it’s been 35 years, about time for someone to try something new.

    Per the whole black Friday thing – my vice is video games at substantial discounts but Amazon takes care of that for me. I don’t care enough to actually fight crowds for the savings, especially as I could just wait 6 months and get them without the hassle

  45. No way in all the hells will I ever shop on Black Friday — especially considering how frackin’ broke I am. Spent my day driving tires from one store to another. Now I’m drinking wine and watching Star Wars. Please enjoy the cat-petting and wife-amusing; I’m sure you excel at both.

  46. Stuff? Hopefully not THE STUFF as chronicled in that scary 80’s era yogurt-horror film.

    I know these are desperate times with the downfall of the Twinkie, but don’t eat THE STUFF folks.

    As for Black Friday (or Black Thursday as it seems to be evolving into), I am kind of creeped out by the masses of people waiting in the cold dark rainy night in front of Best Buy or Super Target or whatever other stores decided to open between 8pm and midnight last night. On the way home from Grandma’s Thanksgiving feast last night, I saw the line at my local Best Buy. From a distance the crowd looked a bit like a scene from a zombie movie. Everyone pushed up against the front of the building. It just looked a little zombie apocalypse to me. I just don’t think I could ever muster the enthusiasm to deal with the chaos of all that just to get a few deals, most of which are likely available on Amazon anyways.

  47. I worked three Black Fridays as a department manager and then assistant buyer for a now defunct NYC department store as my first job out of college. 30 years later I still get flashbacks whenever I step into a department store. Even during the rest of the year I try to make sure I shop when there is no sale at all going on. I have the utmost sympathy for today’s retail employees with the even more psychotic hours they are forced to work.

  48. While everyone else was out shopping for new stuff, I picked today to clean out my closets (and the rest of the house).

    I’m definitely one of the lucky ones, too. I don’t *need* any more stuff. Well, except for replacement earbuds. I don’t know how they keep doing it but when my (on the large side) dogs get boisterous on our walks, they keep managing to yank them out of my ears, and then get them tangled in their leashes, and Rolland stretch and somehow complete destroy them… Just lost my fifth pair on the walk this afternoon.

  49. We have a longstanding tradition of hosting an all day open house game day on Black Friday. We cobble together a random assortment of food and break out all our favorite games. It’s a nice chance to see friends and family members that we might not otherwise get to see over the holidays.

    I too feel very lucky not to need or want to shop. Also I’m just not very good at it; I think successful retail shopping is a skill that some people have, but I’m not one of those people.

  50. Do you suppose if we offered them enough money, Fagen and Becker would rewrite the song so it’s about shopping? Not really sure what it’s about now, but I always think of it while I’m shopping.

  51. I can’t believe I am the only one who got the Steely Dan reference.

    Anyway, Black Friday is a media-hyped day for idiots for the most part. Studies have shown that at least 30% of the “Special Black Friday Doorbusters” people are willing to trample their neighbors for were on sale for less earlier this year.

  52. Black Friday shopping consists of taping the American Express card to my monitor, ordering stuff online (with free shipping of course) and waiting for packages to be delivered to my office over the next couple of weeks. No crowds, no parking problems, no snotty cashiers and I can sit in my pajamas and pet the cat while shopping. All good :-D

  53. For most of my life, I’ve worked on Black Friday, whether at a day job (kennel work, restaurants, retail, etc.) or writing. On the few occasions when I’ve been NOT working that day, I usually cocoon inside the homes of friends and family.

    Made an interesting discovery this year on Black Friday, though, which I am pleased to share here, in case anyone may want to file it away for future reference. Wondering if we were being foolish (i.e. would encounter ravening hoardes of frantic shoppers and heavy traffic), I and a couple of the friends whom I visited in another city this Thanskgiving went out around 10:30am on Black Friday and spent most of the day poking around interesting old antiques shops and art galleries in a couple of funky downtown neighborhoods… and encountered only a very-moderately-populated shopping experience whever we went. (However, the suburban shopping malls which we passed, while driving on the highway, were chock-a-block with acres of parked cards and with lines of waiting cars clogging their transit arteries.)

    So my experience is that antiques shops and galleries, i.e. the kind of places which sell one-of-a-kind stock where once the item is gone it’s GONE and the store does not have 5,000-others-of-the-exact-same-thing… are perfectly pleasant, sane, and elbow-roomy on Black Friday. We also had no trouble finding convenient parking wherever we went. :)

  54. The only thing we ever pay for on Black Friday is lunch. We have learned that traveling on Black Friday is a joy. There is no traffic and you can laugh at the people in the malls you pass along the way, so it’s the day we return from spending Thanksgiving with family in another state.

  55. You can tell that I’m not an American when my first association to “When Black Friday Comes” is to get the Steely Dan song as an earworm, rather than to a shopping event.

  56. @John Samuel: nope, I’m an American, and my reaction was the same as yours. It’s more likely an indication that we’re old. :)

  57. Back in the eighties, I twice stood in line for fourteen hours plus for Springsteen tickets, so I can’t exactly glance oddly at those who camp for Black Friday deals, though the idea of buying darned near anything not-online is nearly a deal breaker for me, these days. To each his own mania.

  58. Unless they just really like the ‘event’ aspect of it, I don’t know why anyone would go out early/stand in lines/fight a crowd on Black Friday- I sat here at this computer in my pajamas drinking coffee and got the exact same deals online, with free shipping.

  59. As you do, spare a moment for the poor bastards who had to show up at the stores at absolutely ridiculous hours to wait on your ass.

    This. We had Thanksgiving on Wednesday because my brother is an asst. manager at WalMart. He put in ten hours on Thursday getting ready for Black Friday, then got six (6) hours off, then went back for another ten hours ON Friday. It’s seriously insane.

    You won’t catch me shopping the Friday after Thanksgiving either; there are no sales worth wading into that madhouse. :P


  60. Wednesday evening, I saw one person with several empty chairs in front of a Best Buy. At the Mall of America Thanksgiving morning (Walk Against Hunger), and there were people camping out in front of the two Best Buy stores. At the Best Buy store a couple blocks from their headquarters, I was told that the people in the front of the line had been camping out since 1 AM Monday morning. I believe the way Best Buy operates, it gives the people in line a single coupon for one of their doorbusters. A $500 discount would be equivalent to about 72 hours at minimum wage, not including income taxes, so maybe it would be worth it to someone who is unemployed or underemployed. I’ll admit I spent about 3 hours standing in lines on Black (Thursday) Friday, about an hour in cold, windy, snowy weather and the rest in checkout lines, so I guess it’s just a matter of degree for me.

  61. the median income for a family of 4 in the US is $40-50k/year. So half the people in the US make less than that. 30% off a blender is worth the savings to half the people in the country.

    i think its more parents who don’t make alot of money trying to get stuff for their kids.

  62. I wasn’t going to buy anything, but gosh darn it, one of the t-shirts in the Mythbusters museum exhibit was so cute, I got it. But hey — not a big box, not a mall, I didn’t get up before dawn and MYTHBUSTERS!

    So I spent Black Friday at the Tech Museum poking buttons and looking at oooh shiny.

    Apparently my Obama-voter Things and Stuff is on back order.

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