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Black Friday hangover?

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Historically speaking, the day after Thanksgiving often leaves many people asking, “what Recession?” as millions of American shoppers cut coupons, stand in long lines, and bombard our nation’s stores for extreme sales on what has now come to be know as “Black Friday.” In fact, last year we saw even bigger crowds at many stores including Best Buy, Sears, Macy's and Toys R Us, which offered earlier openings than in past years or even round-the-clock hours meant to draw in average American shoppers.

Apparently, if television retailers are any indication of shopping season insanity, 2010 Black Friday trends will only continue in earnest this year as many Big Box stores shell out big deals to keep you coming back for more.

According to Reuters, “Unlike last year when some such as Best Buy held the line on discounts and promoted only high-end TVs, many retailers told Reuters this past week that they plan to do whatever it takes to get the customer through the door. For the consumer, expect to see price cuts of up to 40 percent from a year ago on big-screen TVs, plus free shipping deals and even a 36-month financing option, in the run-up to ''Black Friday'' on Nov. 25, the unofficial start of the holiday selling season. ‘As we look at the holiday season, we are going to play offense,’ Hhgregg Inc Chief Executive Officer Dennis May told Reuters in an interview last week. ‘We are going to be very promotional. We are going to be aggressive.’”

Aggressive is right: sharp promotions, special deals like “free shipping,” and intense pushes for things like 3-D and Internet-connected smart TVs will be the new normal in the coming weeks and consumers need to be ready. But just because you can get a 60-inch smart TV for the cost of a 40-inch in the coming weeks, should you?

It’s important to remember that like jewelry and vacations, television upgrades are the very types of expensive purchases that can sink beleaguered budgets. In fact, an uptick in more “personal purchases” could reveal a return to pre-recessionary buying sentiments during which many people who had foregone luxury buys during our weakened economy are now feeling more confident about filling their carts with items that are less about “need,” and more about “want.” And while Black Friday is largely a day for value-conscious consumers to go “crazy” on what’s considered the biggest shopping day of the year, big shopping crowds in 2011 could mean that even the biggest savers are being less careful than in recent recessionary years.

But this article isn’t all about “Bah Humbug.” Consumerism need not break the bank. In fact, taking advantage of extreme deals during this holiday season can be a great way to replace that leaky refrigerator, get that spiffy new interview suit for a better job hunt, or even to enable you to make more home improvements with new tools or supplies without the safety net of equity loans.

Just be careful. Black Friday (or Monday) comes at no better time, as we quickly learn the day before from the Thanksgiving dinner table to the belt-loosening on the couch: moderation in all things can be essential to feeling good about oneself.

And remember, if you are having trouble dealing with debts from Black Friday’s past, it may be time to join the millions of Americans who are already bankruptcy bound. The bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it may be time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or find them online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

 

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