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black friday....is it worth it?

Dublin, Ireland
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black friday....is it worth it?

i am not planning on spending lots in SF but i will be buying an iphone 5s and a little shopping at victorias secret, forever 21, and maybe some makeup/gifts at nordstrom and macys.

i have never been in the US on black friday, so i dont know if my best option would be to do my shopping prior to black friday or wait...will i save much? if the stores only give something like a free tote or lipgloss with purchase then i don't mind missing out, but if the items are all discounted it might be worth it?

any advice?

San Francisco...
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1. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

I don't think you will get an unanimous answer if something is worth it . To some Black Friday is a day to stay as far away from malls as they can, to others they feel that if they are not the first 100 in line to be part of a stampede, they would have failed in life, there are others who will line up at 6pm or perhaps 3am the evening before ..so perhaps for them it is worth it

There are some deals on some products to lure people in and not all are on Friday. There are deals through the 23rd and on the 26th of December. Great deals are found around the 15-18th of Dec. as well and online daily deals starting cyber Monday

Gadgets vs clothing vs cosmetics are not all going to have the best price in one store or in one brick and mortar store.

So check the websites and newspapers for ads. See prices and specials and then decide which bucket of people you fall into, the I will stand in line or I will see if I want to go shoppkng to I won't go near a mail

Edited: 17 November 2013, 11:43
Scottsdale, Arizona
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2. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

Electronics are one of the most favored items for "door buster" or "loss leader" specials in the early bird sales. I don't know much about the latest phones, but if yours is so new it is only at the Apple store it probably won't be discounted. However, if it will be generally available at places such as Macy's and Best Buy, you might find it worthwhile to go early and get exactly what you want before it is sold out. As I recall you are staying only about three blocks off US on Post Street. I do hope the place you selected is working out for you and that you are meeting many people in your age group. Check the ads for what will be on sale and maybe you can get a group from your new gang to go down and wait for the door opening. Good luck!!!

Anaheim, California
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3. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

Macy's will open ay 8 PM on Thursday (Thanksgiving) night.

Here is a link to most of the ads, so you can decide for yourself if it is worth it.

http://www.theblackfriday.com/

Also, don't forget the visitor discount offer for Macy's, out of town folks get 10% off, here is a link to the details.

www.visitmacysusa.com/visitors/savings.cfm

Santa Clara...
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4. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

What kind of shopper are you? How do you handle crowds? You couldn't pay me to go shopping on Black Friday. My time and sanity is worth much more than the small amount I could potentially save. But I know many who make it a sport of hunting the best deal.

Look at the price of things when you get here and decide if it is worth it. If you don't like throngs of people invading your personal space, go do something outdoors that day instead.

Edited: 17 November 2013, 15:34
San Francisco
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5. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

Unless you are buying a lot, or very expensive items, what you are going to save isn't worth the madhouse of Black Friday. (I've never see Apple stuff on sale.)

I'm with Chinita ... the last place on earth I'd be that day is downtown or at the mall.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

Good link to the Black Friday specials, darkbeer. I think that can be really helpful for the original poster to look and decide if the loss leaders are things she's interested in or not.

Overall I don't find Black Friday worth the time and hassle, but many people show up for the highly advertised sale items. Many of these sale items are only available on that day at some ridiculously low sale price (or sometimes for an hour or two at specific times) and in limited quantities and stock. What often happens with the biggest sale items is that they are gone within a few minutes of the store opening or the start of the sale. People plan what they want to try to get and stand in line (queue) hours ahead of the doors opening. When the doors open people run to the section of the store where the sale item they want will be located. A bout of frantic grabbing ensues as people compete to get some specials.

People prioritize if they're interested in multiple items and plan what they'll grab first, second, etc or take people with them to help in their grabbing spree.

There are often news stories about tramplings, fights over merchandise, customers grabbing things out of others hands and other awful things some places in the US on that day and I've seen people come close to physically fighting over items that were the last sale item in stock.

The ridiculously low prices on some items are mostly used as lures to get customers in to a store so they'll buy other things. Some stores such as CompUSA (now out of business in stores) were infamous for only stocking perhaps 2 to 4 of the more expensive sale items such as heavily discounted computers and their entire stock of the advertised items was usually gone within about 5 minutes of the doors opening.

I've gone to a few sales such as these when I was a "starving student" and just didn't have the money to pay a higher price on a more expensive item such as a laptop computer. In one case, I was lucky enough to get the item I came for after lining up hours in advance.

At this point in my life, wild horses couldn't drag me anywhere near shopping areas on Black Friday since I'm not as broke as I was as a student; I can afford to pay a bit more to avoid witnessing the greedy and dehumanizing grab-fest and I find people offer reasonable sales at other times or online and I don't have to put up with the Black Friday crowds, lines and general evilness.

I believe apple products are tightly price controlled so that authorized resellers are not allowed to discount them because of their agreements with apple. Some may offer a minor perk such as a free case or similar instead of a discount.

For the other items, look at the ads to see if what you want is on sale and whether the discount seems like it'll be worth queuing and dealing with the crowds to possibly get (or possibly leave empty handed because you didn't get to an item before the rest of the crowd).

7. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

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Corona del Mar, CA
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8. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

I sort of speed read the other responses, but obviously the iPhone price won't change and cosmetics are not likely to, but clothing, household goods and many other items will be on special. You may not be able to decide until you get there and look at a local newspaper on Thanksgiving Day and see what the prices are like.

I used to love going out on Black Friday to people watch, but even that has become too hard because of the crush of people.

For a visitor, if you've never seen mass hysteria before, it can be amusing, but I don't think you get the kind of exclusive deals on Black Friday that you used to. If you read the ads in the paper a lot of those deals are also on for Saturday & Sunday and then as it gets closer to Christmas they find other reasons to knock off some dollars to keep people shopping.

Oregon Coast
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9. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

I'm one of those who stays far, far away from even smaller towns on Black Friday, but a good friend just loves the bargains and challenge of it. One thing she tells me is that *research* is critical - you have to know just what you want, what the exact model is that you want, what the regular price is, and which store will probably have the most of them. Plan where you will go first, second, etc. Be prepared to stay up most of Thursday night as stores are now opening with BF specials late on Thursday. Be prepared for massive crowds. Try to keep a sense of humour. Wear your bullet-proof vest.

...Kidding about the last sentence ;-)

Santa Clara...
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10. Re: black friday....is it worth it?

HB - that's a good reminder though. Opportunistic pick pockets aplenty that day. Also be aware of who follows you after a big purchase. There have been folks robbed of their Apple stuff in person or when they stupidly put the bags/boxes in the trunk.

Edited: 17 November 2013, 22:33