When a sales approach reveals itself to be significantly profitable for a company, you can bet those who run that company will want to expand that approach. Last year’s “Black Friday” day-after-Thanksgiving sale on Amazon.com was popular, and this year the major online retailer is extending the event throughout the week leading up to Thanksgiving, and offering publicized deals throughout the entire month of November, counting down to the start of “Black Friday Deals Week.”
The Black Friday Deals Week Countdown features electronics, home and kitchen, and jewelry, but Amazon has deals throughout all categories. The featured deals follow the style of Amazon’s “Lightning Deals,” where the retailer offers a usually deeply discounted item every several hours in limited quantities and for a limited time. The deals are not announced ahead of time, so in order to take advantage, shoppers would need to check Amazon.com often.
Shopping online beats running around from store to store on Black Friday, running the risk of being trampled by crazy shoppers. On the other hand, you may miss out on a retailer’s best doorbuster-type deals if you don’t get out of the house. Some companies take advantage of the fact that this is the one time of the year that a large population of consumers are obsessed with finding great deals, and it’s easy for retailers to present an offer as a once-in-a-lifetime discount for shoppers who haven’t properly researched their desires. An event like Black Friday also open the opportunity for retailers to take advantage of the impulse reaction, leading people to buy what they don’t need simply for the feeling of scoring a great deal.
Perhaps I’ve become lazier over the last few years. Except in a few specific situations, namely photography equipment, I’ve found that Amazon.com consistently offers lower prices on the items I find myself needing or wanting most often. I often don’t bother to shop around unless it’s for a major purchase. If Amazon’s price ends up being slightly higher, I don’t worry too much. Thanks to all the money I’ve saved over the past decade, my overall savings compared with shopping at retailers like Best Buy and Circuit City more than make up for the difference.
How closely will you monitor Amazon.com’s Black Friday Deals Week Countdown? I might visit the site several times a week to see what the trends are. I haven’t organized a shopping list for the holidays yet.
Published or updated November 1, 2011.