This "holiday" is not new to me. I've gone every year since before I could drive. My cousin and I would take my mom's car and hit the road at about 3-4 am. This was no joke. But now, I have a different story. Let me walk you through the spectacle of Black Friday 2010.
1. The mother-daughter team.
To the mother-daughter team, Black Friday is the World Cup of shopping. They wear a uniform of ratty pajama pants with Columbia winter jackets on top. Their strategy is "divide an conquer." They yell at each other across the store and mess up every neatly folded pile in their path. Occasionally, you hear one of them shout, "I FOUND IT!"
2. The stores are trying to trick us.
This adorable hat was on sale at Gap for 40% off the day before Thanksgiving, but on Black Friday it was only 25% off. Does it really make sense for stores to offer the lowest prices to customers on the busiest shopping day of the year? From a business perspective, this doesn't make sense... because it's not true.
3. $10 parking lots in peoples' driveways.
I'm serious. Along the highway that the outlet mall was on, grown adults [and their children] stood at the end of their driveways with crappy posters that said, "$10 Parking"... as if people would actually take the bait. There were plenty of open parking spaces at the outlets. But... some hoodlums found themselves hiking along Richmond Road... in the dark... at 2 am... weighed down by several shopping bags in each arm. That's right, these folks got suckered into the makeshift, $10 parking lots.
4. F.Y.I. The line outside Coach is such a ploy.
Let me share a marketing secret. The long lines outside Coach serve double duty. First, they prevent tiny expensive things from being stolen (obviously). Second, by making you stand in line to enter the store, the company forces you to invest your time in Coach. Once you're in the store, you will be more likely to purchase a product, because you are subconsciously driven to be consistent with your previous investment. If you leave without making a purchase, you will be more likely to experience cognitive dissonance and guilt. Hello, psychology.
5. The Final Outcome:
I shopped from 1 am - 6 am, and came home with NOTHING. That's right. I even found myself in Target at 4:20 am, and after waiting in line for an hour just to get into the store, I realized that all I wanted was a bottle of conditioner and some Diet Coke. What was I thinking? I wasn't.
Dare I say, Black Friday is overrated?