Holy crap!!!!! BLACK FRIDAY!!! BLACK FRIIDAAAAY! Well, I guess it’s called “Brown Thursday” now…but, OMG BLACK FRIDAY!! Grab that TV! Fight that lady for that cell phone! Don’t drop the baby and hold on to grandma because here we go!!!
What is Black Friday? Well, if you don’t know, check out my post on Black Friday 2011 to get the low-down and / or refresh yourself on what has become my favorite American holiday. That post also has 4 critical tips on how to get the best deals on the big day.
So what are some things I can add from last year?
1) Black Friday is changing
I wonder if the term will cease to exist in a few years because I believe this year’s experiment (stores opening on Thursday) will prove that people want the “holiday” earlier. No matter what others may say on the matter, I think we’re going to find out that having Black Friday start Thursday night is a good thing. People don’t need to wake up at 3AM to camp out in the cold for a $200 TV any longer (who will miss that?!). Now people that have to work on Friday actually have a chance to participate in BF!
We can debate the moral issue at hand (retail workers not spending time with families), but it’s moot, so I won’t. Consumers will end up getting what they want, and I believe the majority of them will want to be able to get shopping done earlier. It will start to become more a big deal if the opening times start infringing upon more sacred times like…oh, I don’t know…3PM? 6PM? We’ll see what ends up happening…
Anyway…what does this mean to you? Well, it means a whole lot if you actually plan on braving the crowds. It just means you got a whole lot more competition. This may also be a blessing in disguise, hear me out…
Ignorance. Ignorance you say? How so? Well….no one knows what the heck is going on out there! During my 72 hour madness run (Wednesday night to early Saturday), I spent most of it online and snagged a good number of deals (details below), but in the few hours I spent out in the field, I soon found out that a majority of them are newcomers; people who have never gone Black Friday shopping previously. This means they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re literally there for the event. They have no idea what they’re looking for.
This means the field just got diluted and your competition is dumb. This also means that the stores’ inventory is greater than it has been in the past. This just means you have a greater probability at snagging what you want. Take Target for example: I got there at 8:45PM (opened at 9PM), and the line had formed almost a perfect ring around the entire store. Ridiculous…I thought there was no way there’s going to be anything left by the time I get inside! Not the case…I had at least a good hour to grab almost anything I wanted.
If you followed my earlier tips from last year, you should have already planned what you want…get it, get out, move on to the next store. It was very easy this year…let’s see if the general populous gets any smarter next year. I’d wager not! Too mean? Nah!
Remember though, unless there’s something in store only…WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT THE STORE? GO ONLINE YOU FOOL!
2) Be on the look out for pre-Black Friday savings
I’ve been playing this game for almost a decade now, and never before have I quite seen so much stuff on sale *before* Thursday even came around! Lowe’s and Home Depot had all of their appliances on sale two weeks prior, so did Sears, so did Kmart. A lot of websites; Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, had online deals Wednesday night and Thursday. Kmart opened at 6AM Thursday for crying out loud!
I was literally done with a lot of my shopping before anything even started…you have to remember, these stores are all competing for your dollar and they don’t care *when* they get it, just that they get it. If that means starting sales on Wednesday, well they’re going to try! It just has never happened to this extent in the past (or I just wasn’t paying attention). Next year, hit up your slickdeals.net and plan what you want…because it’s probably going to be online before Thankgiving comes around!
3) I’m evolving
OK, I have a secret to confess…not all the stuff I bought is…well, is…for me. And they’re not gifts either…
I’ve…I’ve…turned into…turned…into…a reseller! Ack, I’m so ashamed! Can you ever forgive me dear readers?
I got past the initial ethical dilemma once I realized how profitable this can be, and is basically the basis of capitalism. And hey…why shouldn’t I be rewarded for basically “working” to find deals. Right? Right….? (I think I’m still trying to convince myself…)
Anyway, so how do you do this? Well, here’s my criteria. You have to find an item that meets the following metrics for it to be considered something you can consider reselling on Black Friday. They are:
1) It has to be in demand
You can’t resell something that nobody wants, duh! Notice how I say nothing about supply. Supply really doesn’t matter that much. Now of course, if something is so common that anybody can get it, this will come into play. But the items you’re targeting are on sale for ONE DAY! Let me reiterate, supply doesn’t matter!
2) It has to be at a pricepoint that is reasonable for mass market
What would I say this is? $50-100 range, Go any higher and it gets kind of risky shipping something this expensive. Too risky for my blood anyway. Go any lower and shipping and fees will eat you alive. Good luck making a couple bucks per sale…
3) You have to be getting a really good deal on it
50% off? Yeah, at least. Try 80%. That’s more of a sweet spot.
4) You have to be able to return it if you don’t sell it
Pretty easy if you bought it in store. Fairly hard if you didn’t. This is the one reason I would suggest buying things in store, or buying online and performing “in-store” pickup.
The fun part of the reseller business is that if it doesn’t sell…just return it! It’s a zero-risk game. Well, there is always some risk, but it’s pretty damn small.
OK, so that sounds all well and good, so how do you sell them? eBay, Amazon Marketplace, Craigslist. That’s in order of worst to best. eBay has huge fees, but is very reliable. Amazon has smaller visibility, but less fees. Craigslist is pure profit.
So what was this year’s item? Cell phones. I couldn’t think of a better item. Everybody wants one; smartphones are still penetrating the market (especially lower-income). I got them very cheap, and I got a lot of them. I have to imagine cell phones are going to be the thing to resell for quite a few more years.
Well, that’s the gist of what I learned this year. So…all that’s left is to move on to all the deals I grabbed!
God of War Collection – $15 : This and Gran Turismo were the gems of my videogames finds this year (sadly, there wasn’t much to get excited about…).
Gran Turismo 5 XL – $10: Never played a Gran Turismo game before. For $10, I’m willing to start!
SanDisk 32GB MicroSDHC Class 10 memory card – $18 x 2: Could use one for my Wii U and my phone. This is about the cheapest as you’re ever going to find these! These aren’t crap quality either….class 10 is the best you can get! Very happy with this purchase.
Journey Collector’s Edition – $15: Heard good things about these games. I bit. For $15 and it comes with 3 months of Playstation Plus, why not?
COBY 19″ LED 720p TV – $78: Needed a TV for the gym. Perfect size, perfect price point!
Brother Printer MFCJ425W Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax – $56 – Not an amazing deal, but I needed a wireless printer and this was good enough!
Kid Icarus: Uprising – $20: Very difficult to find 1st party Nintendo games for less than $30. Good enough for me!
LG Optimus Elite Mobile Phone – $50 x 11: So…yep…here’s where the reselling begins. Sorry, I’ve already sold them all!
Insignia 50″ – LCD – 1080p – 60Hz – HDTV – $400: Four hundred bucks for a 50″ TV? 3 HDMI ports? Who cares if it’s from Best Buy’s Insignia brand…it’s a 50″ TV for $400! Hard to beat that! Factor in Reward Zone points and it’s even better!
LG 27″ Widescreen Flat-Panel LED HD Monitor – $200: I was skeptical of the price…still seems kinda steep, but once I actually got it…wow. Love this monitor.
Belkin Conserve Smart AV™ Auto-Off Surge Protector – $15 x 3: Also known as the first deal I found on my own and actually got rep for from Slickdeals, haha. Good price on quality surge protectors.
Essential Home Copper Canyon Corner TV Stand – $80: More than I wanted to pay, but I got my 50″ TV from Best Buy very late in the game…and well, I don’t have a TV stand that holds a 50″ TV. Had one in my sights for $50, but it went out of stock while I was checking out! That happens more than you’d think… 🙁
Kenmore 21.9 cu. ft. French-Door Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator – Stainless Steel – $867: The first major purchase I made this year. Been looking for a refrigerator for two years now. I couldn’t pass this up. MSRP was 2k, and I ended up using 3 stackable coupon codes and cashback on this thing. Very happy with the purchase, beautiful fridge. Also, sold my old one on Craigslist for $200, so you could say this was only $667. $667 for a stainless steel french door fridge? Try and beat that!
Kyocera Rise Virgin Mobile Cell Phone – $30 x 34: Yes, you read that right. Thirty-four. I um…I bought a lot. While people were busy buying cheap TVs you can get cheaper online, I was buying the one thing that fits my resellers criteria above. I don’t have any more though. These paid for my Black Friday shopping this year. Thanks Virgin Mobile!
Wii Play Motion – $15 x 2: Also known as: Black Wiimote+. I picked up 2x Flingsmash from Toys R Us a week before Thanksgiving, so now I have four black Wiimotes to compliment my Wii U. So pretty!
The Legendary Starfy (DS) – $8.26: Old, old game, but the price is right!
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS) – $9: Been looking to try this series for years now, but they never go on sale! Finally get a chance to try it now.
Sadly, there is *more*, but I think that’s enough to share! =E
Already planning my 2013 Black Friday, stay tuned for next year’s haul! Happy holidays!