Black Friday is almost upon us. AGAIN. And Amazon is starting off a lot earlier than usual
Like a rock rolling down a massive hill, Black Friday has steadily picked up momentum during the past couple of years. Last year’s event was HUGE, dwarfing previous years with billions spent and millions saved by savvy consumers.
The majority of Walmart’s deals will kick off on November 23, but if you cannot wait until then, you can check out what’s on offer by visiting the retailer’s Black Friday Sales section.
Why Does The Name Black Friday Come From?
Because Black Friday is quite a new thing in the UK, a lot of people are still rather confused about it; but among the many questions regularly asked, one comes up more than most - why is it called "Black Friday?"
Perhaps it's to do with how it sounds a bit sinister? Almost like the anniversary of some massacre
Until very recently I had absolutely no idea. I figured it was something to do with retailers making big profits or something, or the time of year when the biggest profits are collected. Something to do with profits, basically, y'know "in the black" on the sales ledger (as opposed to being in the red and losing money). And this is sort of true – but not entirely.
If you’re in the UK and new to all this Black Friday talk, do not be alarmed, as we Brits haven’t really embraced it fully until very recently. This recent and somewhat sudden adoption in the last couple of years is likely due to the fact that most people do a lot of their online shopping inside portals owned by American companies like Amazon. Amazon, as an example, has now established a firm foothold in the UK market, so it's unerstandable that the company might start introducing things which work over in the US. Plus, the UK has always been one for adopting American culture anyway.
The other reason why it has become so popular here is, of course, money. Retailers like to make money and what better way to do it than with reduced prices driving massive buying frenzies across the board? Discounts are pretty huge - much more generous on the whole than the Boxing Day Sales and January Sales we're used to. As an added bonus, Black Friday is pretty darn close to Christmas as well, so a lot of savvy shoppers do their Christmas shopping during this period, spending their hard earned dollars and pounds on discounted goods.
But most – meaning, 99% of people – have no idea about the true origin of the name Black Friday.
So now, for your reading pleasure, a quick history lesson.
The real, first use of the word Black Friday dates ALL the way back to 1869 and concerns two chaps who attempted to buy up all of America’s gold and then sell it on at an inflated price. As is often the case with such "get rich quick" schemes, however, things didn’t quite go to plan . Here’s a snippet of what ACTUALLY happened from HISTORY:
“The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied not to holiday shopping but to financial crisis: specifically, the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869. Two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. On that Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.”
It added: “The most commonly repeated story behind the post-Thanksgiving shopping-related Black Friday tradition links it to retailers. As the story goes, after an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted merchandise. Though it’s true that retail companies used to record losses in red and profits in black when doing their accounting, this version of Black Friday’s origin is the officially sanctioned—but inaccurate—story behind the tradition.”
And make no mistake: Black Friday is immensely popular with consumers on both sides of the pond. That is why the event now takes place over two weeks in some cases – Amazon, we’re looking at you – and is bookended by Cyber Monday.
According to a pre-holiday survey this year by the National Retail Federation, an estimated 135.8 million Americans definitely plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend (58.7 percent of those surveyed), though even more (183.8 million, or 79.6 percent) said they would or might take advantage of the online deals offered on Cyber Monday.
Black Friday 2016 is already rolling, but the REAL event kicks off tomorrow. If you’re looking for deals on anything electronic, you NEED to check out the links below as these are some of the best deals on the planet right now.