Although I will mostly be avoiding the crowds today, I'm going to be fighting my way through the masses on Saturday. It's an experience like no other: There's an "end of the world" feeling when you're in the middle of a mob of women who are trying to buy the last wind-up fake hamster on the shelf.
As for me, I won't be buying much of anything at all. However, I love the hustle and bustle (perhaps it comes from years of retail management). This is the day that retailers often can breathe a sigh of relief. It's called "Black Friday" for a reason: It's the day that merchants finally go into the "black" and out of the "red" that they've been suffering through all year long.
There are predictions that this year will be better than last year. How could it not? Last year was the worst Black Friday in thirty years (according to the news last night).
Then again, experts argue that online retail is now where consumers are turning. This is good news for those of us who sell on Ebay. I don't sell much, but I am now frantically gathering up odds and ends of things that I meant to put on Ebay in the past: It's time to sell, people, sell!
One of the things that will drive online sales is the retailers' desire to lose as little money as possible. Therefore, stock is down, prices are up, and retailers are hoping they won't have to budge much on price this year. I even heard a commercial on the radio in which the head of a major chain is encouraging shoppers to buy what they want now, as they might not find it later. Good luck with that con. Let's see how gullible American shoppers are this year.