Black Friday, what a name for the day after Thanksgiving. The history of Black Friday is mixed with "good" and "bad" (mostly bad) events that just happened to occur on a Friday.
In 1869 (September 24th) which happened to be (of course) a Friday. There was widespread financial panic when a group financial speculators (namely Fisk and Gould) decided it was time to corner the gold market. Fisk and Gould sought the help of Grant's administration to covet the one thing they wanted to control - GOLD. This event in history ruined thousands even though Fisk and Gould's attempt's were thwarted by the administration, as the government decided to release gold for sale.
As we come fast-forward in history, we find Black Friday takes on a dual-meaning. One, it's a great day for retailer's but, a bad day for consumer's who subject themselves to the "mad rush" for those "great deals" that seem to come around just once a year.
However, one has to ask "why do these great deals on Black Friday seem to come around just once a year?" Gee, Wal-Mart is offering a 52 inch HDTV for $XXX.00 and other goodies - at prices - which make us scratch our heads, as we often think - where are these great deals during the rest of year?
So, when Wal-Mart offers an RCA 52 Inch HDTV for $XXX.00 but, got $X,XXX.00+ (for this product or a like item) during the past eleven months, can we bring it back for a refund? Will they pay me the difference between what I paid then and what they're selling the item for now? We all know the answer to that one:-)
Now, you may have wondered why I used X's in the Wal-Mart pricing of this item. Read on...
In recent years, some retailers (including Wal-Mart, Target Corporation, Best Buy, and Staples, Inc.) have claimed that the advertisements they send in advance of Black Friday and the prices included in those advertisement are intellectual property and protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Using the take down provision of the DMCA, these retailers have threatened various internet web sites who post Black Friday prices to the internet in advance of the intended release date by the retailers.
This policy apparently derives from a fear that competitors, in addition to customers, will also have access to this information and use it for competitive advantage. The actual validity of the claim that prices are protected intellectual property is uncertain, as prices might be considered a 'fact' in which case they would not receive the same level of protection as pure intellectual property.
The benefit of threatening internet sites with a DMCA based lawsuit has proved tenuous at best. While some sites have complied with the requests, others have either ignored the threats or simply continued to post the information under the name of a similar sounding fictional retailer.
Back to Wal-Mart...
However, what it does tell us is Wal-Mart's cost (or near cost, as we're sure they're not just giving away RCA 52 Inch HDTV's away) and that should make us think about "Customer Loyalty".
Does Wal-Mart deserve our loyalty? In fact, do most of these brick and mortar retailer's deserve anyone's loyalty when they charge "X" for an item during the rest of the year but, make us claw our way through the crowds to get to get the limited number of "come on" deals they have to offer on Black Friday? Just how many of these RCA 52 inch HDTV's do they have in stock?
I have a suggestion for these retailer's, add a "Best Offer" tag to every item you sell (all year long).
Let us make you an offer (like millions can do on eBay) and then maybe we have something talk about.
So, if you're heading out on Black Friday and are ready to claw your way through the crowds to get one these "great deals" think twice - before pulling out your credit card. Think LOYALTY!
Better yet...make them a Best Offer!
Other guides relating to jewelry and gemstone buying which you may find helpful are as follows: