Black Friday blues: Was anyone not disappointed?

black friday sales?

I bought nothing on Black Friday. Apparently I’m not alone, as sales have fallen short of retailers’ hopes and may signal that they'll need to hunker down for a long, hard sell this holiday season.

Though I didn’t buy anything, I’ve been contemplating buying a new TV and decided, on a whim, to visit a couple of stores to see what I could see. After a lunch of leftover turkey sandwiches, I printed out our plasma TV Ratings and headed to Sears with my dad, who wanted a shovel. He got his shovel, but I was disappointed in the TV prices.

Remarkably, a number of the TVs I was eyeing carried the same price Consumer Reports paid for the set one month ago—and that was the store’s sale price. When I asked a salesperson about it, he intimated that the “real” deals were all scooped up that morning—the so-called “doorbuster” sales on a limited number of TV models. Despite the higher-than-expected prices, a bright spot was the helpful and courteous sales team.

Not far down the road, my shopping experience at Walmart was traumatizing enough to keep me away for some time. Jostling through the carts and crowds, I saw but one plasma set. Though the electronics department was mobbed, there was only one cashier.  And on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, there was nary a single blue-vested salesperson on the floor. I was also thinking of buying a video game console, but decided that getting information on them wasn’t worth the headache. As I walked to my car, the dull throbbing in my brain told me I hadn’t left quickly enough.

In the spirit of CyberMonday, I’ll spend today checking prices online. This time, at least I won’t have to deal with jostling crowds.

How about you? We’d love to get some shopper feedback from the Black Friday weekend. Was there anything

  • particularly horrendous or pleasant about your shopping experience?
  • you’d do differently next year?
  • you regret purchasing?
  • you regret not purchasing?
  • you wish you had known?

Leave a comment below and help out your fellow consumers. —Nick K. Mandle