As November 26th fast approaches, here’s my take on Black Friday.
How it started
Back in the 1960’s, Black Friday marked the start of the Christmas shopping season. It was in reference to stores moving from red ink to black (from loss to profit) by the end of the year.
In my mind, Black Friday, as we know it today, started with the electronics stores. I picture people lined up around the block to get the latest Xbox, iPhone, or whatever electronic device was the must have of the moment at heavily discounted prices.
Then it seemed to spread to other merchandise and retailers and now it’s ubiquitous. It’s even followed up by Cyber Monday. I have to say I’m not a fan.
It’s not that I don’t like a good bargain. It’s more the whole idea of it. Setting the stage for people to line up for hours (pre-Covid) and go crazy over getting the last item on the shelf. All over more stuff, more material things. Things that will become obsolete in a year or two because the newest, latest version will come out. Then it starts all over again.
And, it makes me wonder about the pricing to begin with. Offering such drastically reduced markdowns suggests to me that the price is inflated from the start.
How it is today
Current times have shifted the focus to queuing up online to get that marked down item into your cart before the “Sold Out” sticker pops up. And, it starts weeks in advance of the actual day. Add to that, the ongoing labour shortages and global shipping bottlenecks and the perfect storm of frenzied Black Friday shopping is here.
How about independent makers
As a small independent maker, retailer, and business owner, I would much rather offer my designs at a fair price from the get go and keep it that way until they sell out.
I do like to have a one day surprise flash sale on occasion. I suppose one could argue that it’s the same as a Black Friday sale, but it’s definitely not with the same intent. It’s more of a spur of the moment, I’d like to do something thoughtful in celebration of a relevant event like World Bamboo Day. And, the discount is usually 15 to 20% off.
I have to admit, I’ve been swept away by the Black Friday hype in the past. It was about 3 or 4 years ago, I did a Black Friday campaign. I can’t recall the details but I do remember feeling like I had to do something. And, I also remember I didn’t get any sales.
In the same vain, every year I get bombarded by email campaigns telling me I need to do this or that to not miss out on Black Friday sales. Sometimes I feel I may be missing the boat by not jumping onboard.
But, I’ve learned that you, my customers, are not the typical Black Friday bargain shoppers. You like good value for your money. And, you like that all year round, not just one day a year.
Here’s my approach
So, as this Black Friday approaches, I’ve been pondering do I just ignore it and let it pass. Do I try to buck the trend and do something different? I know there’s “Small Business Saturday” as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
After some contemplation, I’ve decided to simply go about my business and take part in the Holiyay Virtual Craft Market with Freewheeling from November 25th to 29th.
Support local small business this season
Skip the delay and scarcity stresses this holiday season. Instead check out the unique local small business vendors, including moi, at the Holiyay Virtual Craft Market, Nov 25-29. I’ll post the link on social media and in the COKANNA Coffee Shop group as soon as it’s up. You’ll be able to shop from the comfort of your home.
In the meantime, you can always get a head start on your shopping right here.
Until next time,
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