What do you know about Black Friday?
Life | 11.13.2017
Black Friday has only recently been included into our sales calendars. For many it is the kick off for the Christmas shopping season, a day when shoppers can take advantage of some of the biggest discounts of the year on a range of products.
Keep reading to learn more about this increasingly more popular day!
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is a shopping day on which many local and international retailers apply huge discounts and special offers on most of their products and services.
When is it?
This year Black Friday is on Friday, November 24.
Black Friday is celebrated on the day after Thanksgiving (a holiday in the United States), which is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November. The special promotions start at midnight and continue until Monday, called Cyber Monday, usually because the majority of deals on this day are offered on electronic equipment, appliances and technology; however, many brands and stores also participate with exclusive online discounts.
The day has begun to bleed into Thursday since 2011, when hypermarket chain Walmart decided to open its stores on Thanksgiving, and many retailers now start offering discounts on Thanksgiving Thursday, sometimes referred to as “Gray Thursday”.
Where did it come from and how did it get its name?
Black Friday comes from the United States, where the term was originally used to refer to the panic of September 24, 1869, when speculators Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market on the New York Stock Exchange. In general, the adjective “black” has been applied to days on which the stock market caused great losses and chaos in the U.S. economy.
In the 1960s, Philadelphia policemen began calling the Friday that fell between Thanksgiving (Thursday) and the Army-Navy Game (historically played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving) “Black Friday”. This game between the teams of the Navy and Army academies is one of the great classics of American football and is played in Philadelphia, roughly equidistant from the two academies. The large crowds that poured into the city on Friday to spend the night partying before the game coincided with the day that officially began the Christmas shopping season (which local businesses took advantage of to attract more shoppers), causing massive traffic jams as well as accidents, fights and even robberies. The city was even darker with smoke from all the pollution caused by the influx of cars, and police starting calling the day Black Friday, a name that was popularized and now used throughout the United States.
Recently, retailers –objecting to the derisive use of the term– use Black Friday to mean the beginning of the period when the numbers in their financial records go from “in the red” (loss) to “in the black” (profit) as a result of the huge amount of sales made on this discount shopping day.
Too good to be true?
While shoppers can enjoy massive savings at brick-and-mortar and online store son Black Friday, there are a few things to take into account to make sure your purchases are safe and secure:
- Check the prices of the items before they go on sale. Much has been said about retailers “inflating” prices, then applying a discount that puts the price at the same pre-sale price, perhaps a bit lower. If you already know what you want to buy, it’s a good idea to track the prices for a few days before the sale to make sure the price is truly a discount price or not.
- Be careful to not fall victim to phishing scams. In our post about phishig we already explained the details about this type of identity theft designed to steal from people via email messages. You always have to be careful with the messages and links that you receive at this time of year via social media, chat and email, since they may contain viruses that attack your device to capture sensitive user data. You should also be careful with any forms you are asked to full out, since they can be used to obtain sensitive information. There are also websites that pose as another brand, copying its name and image to get a customer’s bank details, so if you’re ever in doubt, check that the URL is safe and that the website is registered with the company.
- Check the final sales price. Extra costs like taxes, shipping and import charges, and credit card fees can add to the final price of the item, so check the final sales price before finalizing your purchase.
- Browse in incognito mode. Many websites install cookies on your computer and know when you have looked at a product and will send you notifications about a price increase; some airlines will even show a higher fare the next time you check a flight. Once you know what you want to buy, make sure you don’t pay more by going to the product page again in incognito mode or erase the cookies from your browser.
- Review the purchase conditions. Take a look at the return policy and warrantee, as well as the purchase conditions, before you finalize any purchase. Most importantly, keep the receipts in case you need a refund or exchange later.
- Verify that purchases made online are through secure sites. It is always important to ensure online retailers have the right security protocols in place in order to reduce the risk of falling victim to credit card fraud. Read our post on credit card security so you know how to recognize a secure website and remember to always have your card’s CIP code activated.
Now that you know more about this popular day of discounts and special offers, what are you waiting for?
If cash is a problem, check out our financing options, where you’re sure to find a loan that fits your needs, like our Express Loan, for those situations in which you need cash immediately and flexibly. Another option is to directly finance your purchases with the store with our Easy Loan, so that you can make your purchase immediately without having to go to the bank. And if you are interested in affiliating your store with the Easy Loan program, fill in the information form that you can access at this link.
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