Black Friday shoppers can rest now that this year’s frenzy is over, but when the next one rolls around there may be even more reason to skip it altogether.
Here are four reasons it really isn’t worth staying up all night to get a good deal on tech devices and gadgets.
Some items are still available online for the same price with free shipping to boot.
Check out the Nikon D3000 camera kit, for example.
Wal-Mart featured it as a Black Friday special for $449, but it’s still on sale for that price on the world’s largest retailer’s web site and you can get the deal sent right to your door and Wal-Mart will cover the shipping.
When I took a stroll through my local Walmart store on Friday afternoon, there were still plenty of TVs piled up. A Samsung 46-inch LED smart TV, which was touted on the chain’s Black Friday store map, was abundance, for example.
As another example, Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for the market research firm NPD Group, was underwhelmed by turnout at a Massachusetts Walmart store early Friday morning.
He found the 5 a.m. scene there to be a surprise — only about 20 people were waiting around for the best priced TV of the day, a 50-inch Emerson TV and nothing else seemed to be luring customers in the door and toward the electronics section.
“Moving up Black Friday seemed to do little to bring out incremental shoppers, and while it remains to be seen if these Thanksgiving shoppers were converted, or enticed, away from online the fact that crowds were on-par with previous years seems to indicate that there is little room for traffic growth,” he wrote in a blog post.
He wrote that while an earlier Black Friday — one that actually starts on Thursday — should provide retailers with the chance to offer more doorbuster events and bring customers in during the dead periods throughout the night and morning, Wal-Mart’s failure to bring in hordes of early morning crowds — at least at the location he was scoping out — may indicate that consumers don’t want more opportunities for in-store shopping.
“If true, that would mean that brick and mortar has been unable to stem the online tide despite the Thanksgiving openings and the increase in the in- store events,” he wrote.
Some experts advise skipping Black Friday altogether because you can get better deals at other times.
Decide.com — a website that tracks prices on electronics and advises consumers when to buy them —says data from the last two years indicates Black Friday isn’t the best time for holiday shopping.
“Nine of the 11 major consumer product categories averaged a lower price leading up to Black Friday, the week after Black Friday or the week before the Christmas holiday. Overall, shoppers save a substantial amount of money on popular products by skipping Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” the website said in a statement.
The website says the best time to buy espresso machines, vacuums, cameras, and TVs, hot toys and luxury items is actually before Black Friday.
“On Black Friday, consumers will see plenty of lesser known and lower quality TVs offered as doorbusters, but few major brands go on sale. If a major brand is on sale, shoppers can count on extremely limited quantity,” Decide.com said.
Like last year, the biggest shopping day of the year once again began on Thursday, but this year shoppers turned out earlier than ever thanks to retailers backing up the clock on their Black Friday doorbuster sales.
Wal-Mart, which staggers its deals throughout the night and early morning, started its big sale at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving with many retailers following suit shortly thereafter. Target and Shopko opened at 9 p.m. on Turkey Day, whereas stores such as Best Buy and Kohl’s held out until midnight.
No Black Friday story would be complete without tales of bad shopper behavior — which serves as the primary deterrent that keeps many people from stepping out after the turkey has gone cold.
A man and woman were shot in a Tallahassee, Fla., Walmart store parking lot Friday. The reason? A disagreement over a parking space. The victims’ wounds weren’t life threatening and police were looking for the suspect.
And if that’s not enough to convince you to stay home, check out this terrible video — after watching it, you may never want to venture out after Thanksgiving again.
This story, "4 reasons to skip Black Friday next year" was originally published by PCWorld.