Wal-Mart is having a pre-Black Friday sale on an Xbox 360 Arcade Console for $199, and offering a bonus $100 eGiftCard, while supplies last. They might have 12 of these items. I just read a post on a social forum that says:
“My wife and I will be going to Wal-Mart and getting 2 of these. I’ll then turn around and resell them and keep the (2) $100 online gift cards. I’ll stand in line for ~ 30min (Pre-Black Friday sales aren’t busy) for $200.”
I consider this person a scalper. He will go on eBay and sell these XBoxes at a profit, and pocket the $200 gift card as well. Do the stores realize that scads of people with capital or good credit will scalp these items? Perhaps they should consider limiting purchases to one per customer. (Of course, this guy would get around this by having his wife buy the other one.)
And do they realize that someone who really wants an Xbox is going to lose out because this guy thinks he’s so clever? His answer to me was that if they really wanted one, they’d be in line for the pre-Black Friday sale, too. Well, if Wal-Mart only has 12 of them, even if someone’s in line they could lose out to the three or four people ahead of them who will buy two or three of them so they can scalp them on eBay.
We went to a “pre-Black Friday” sale last year for flat screens when our 27-year-old console TV died. Of course, when we got there, they were all gone. And last year I made my first and last foray out on Black Friday because Wal-Mart had a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer on sale. I got there when the doors opened at 5:00 a.m., and by the time I found them, there was one left. I saw a woman with four of them and I think she was ready to grab the last one but I got there first. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t know four adults I’d spend over a $150 a pop on at Christmas, and if I could afford to do that, I sure wouldn’t be shopping in Wal-Mart! And she sure didn’t need four mixers for herself! What do you think this woman was going to do? Sell them on eBay is my guess.
We also saw people at Black Friday sales loading three and four flat screen TVs into trucks outside of Circuit City, as well as people buying multiple computers and monitors at Staples’ Black Friday sale. Someone I discussed this with said “Maybe other people asked them to pick them up for them.” Well, you’d have to PAY me more than the sale would be saving that person to do that on Black Friday!
In my opinion, these Black Friday sales are only feeding the black market and I won’t participate in them anymore. First, although I got some great deals, it wasn’t worth getting up at 4:00 a.m. and rubbing shoulders with people who were ready to knock you down to get to the door first. Second, the same items for which I waited in line at 4:30 a.m. on Black Friday went on sale for the same price or lower a few weeks later or after Christmas.
The stores think you’re stupid. These Black Friday sales are only luring you in. When they run out of the limited number of items they’ve advertised, you are left wandering the aisles saying to yourself, “Well, as long as I’m here….” Not me, no more, uh uh.
I went out last year after Christmas to the Lenox factory and bought ten beautiful discontinued items for $8 each, that originally retailed at $29 for people whom I usually buy gifts. My nephews want money, and I will send my three grandchildren token gifts, and a check to their parents a month before Christmas so they can get them what they really want and I won’t spend $40 in shipping. My shopping is almost done. And I don’t feel like a sleaze ball.