Posted: 10:44 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013
By Clark Howard
Black Friday is almost here. This year more than ever, the idea of Black Friday has spilled over a day earlier into Thanksgiving. Love it or hate it, that's going to be the reality for 2013.
Another harsh reality facing retailers is that they ordered everything you'll see in stores this holiday season months before our nation's consumer confidence was recently shaken by the partial government shutdown and the debt limit debate. So with their orders baked in the cake and the merchandise on the shelves, the stores are scared that you won't be out there spending. Plus, the Christmas shopping season is one week shorter this year.
The end result is that you benefit from the fear in retail because it's meant an earlier and earlier rollout of deals. It's gotten to the point that some people are saying this is going to be the year of "Black Thursday," because of all the deals right on Thanksgiving Day. Here's a look at what's to come. (Be sure to comparison shop whatever you want to buy on these sites.)
Thanksgiving isn't just for NFL football anymore…
Walmart will start its real deals at 6 pm on Thursday. Among the jaw-dropping offers, according to DealNews.com:
Walmart will offer wristbands this year for "guaranteed products" like the ones listed above. Getting a wrist band means you'll get the product at the advertised price, if not that day, at least before Christmas Day. The wristband idea will also free up shoppers to go and make purchases throughout other areas of the store, liberating them from the long lines and avoiding customer melees. It's a brilliant idea.
Of course, Walmart is far from the only store opening on Thanksgiving. A partial list of the other retailers doing the same at different times throughout Turkey Day includes Target, Toys R Us, Macy's, Kohl's, and J.C. Penney.
To mention just one other hot offer, Target will allow you to bring in any working iPad and you'll get a purchase credit toward the new iPad Air. You'll get a minimum $200 trade-in value (some restrictions apply) that can be applied toward the $479-$499 purchase price.
Know what to buy and when to buy it
Let the calendar be your guide during the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. DealNews.com has new info on the key items to buy on Thanksgiving vs. Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday.
Showrooming is a term for using your smartphone while out at a store to comparison shop right then and there for whatever it is you're thinking of buying. It's a booming trend in the world of retailing that can save you big bucks. Here are some sites you might want to comparison shop at while you're out and about:
What does the future hold?
Many people feel annoyed by the annual retail salesfest of Black Friday encroaching too far on Thanksgiving. What happened to the American institutions of family and football that usually mark the fourth Thursday in November? The thing to know is this is only happening because people in the past have shopped in huge numbers when retailers tested the waters on Thanksgiving. The whole thing reminds me of the comic strip Pogo that used to say, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
If you don't like the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving, don't go out and shop. You can vote with your dollar.