29 Days To Go: Let’s All Take a Deep Breath

Black Friday is to many adults what Christmas is to children. We go crazy with credit cards as the little ones lose control over toys. As much as we’d like to think we’re more mature, we can be every bit as petty and myopic—and not just with Christmas shopping. From one of my columns in the Hazleton Standard-Speaker last December, consider this your Black Friday warning:

There’s one thing about Jdimytai Damour that I can’t get out of my head.

By now, you’ve heard Damour’s tragic story repeatedly. At the age of 34, the Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death by early-morning shoppers on Black Friday. You’ve probably heard all the moralizations, too—fingers wagged at the decline of moral values and the rise of consumerism—but here’s the part I just can’t shake: We killed him.   Continue reading “29 Days To Go: Let’s All Take a Deep Breath”

30 Days To Go: Black Friday Pep Talk

How price-sensitive are you? Nevermind, I can infer your price sensitivity from the following question: Are you going shopping on Black Friday? If you are, you’re probably price-sensitive. If not, other things, like comfort of the shopping experience, probably matter more to you than price. Or so says GMU economist Arnold Kling:

…temporary sales are often a tool for price discrimination. If you need something now, you have to buy it whether or not it is “on sale.” But if the purchase is discretionary, you may only buy it “on sale.” The store keeps its prices high ordinarily, in order to pick up profits from the price-insensitive shoppers. The store puts items “on sale” on rare occasions, hoping to pick up profits from price-sensitive shoppers. Unfortunately, they lose profits from price-insensitive shoppers who happen to come in the day of the sale.

The beauty of holding sales on “Black Friday” is that stores know that many price-insensitive shoppers will stay away in order to “avoid the crowds.” So you can get revenue from price-sensitive shoppers without sacrificing profits from price-insensitive shoppers.

So this post is for all you price-sensitive shoppers out there.   Continue reading “30 Days To Go: Black Friday Pep Talk”

32 Days To Go: My Holiday Contribution…

My contribution to Trading8s for the Holidays has been to visit the most excellent video front-end and aggregator Clicker (which aggregates or indexes the popular content from a variety of sources) and posting various Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas-themed TV episodes.

FireShot capture #016 - Clicker Screenshot

I have not searched for Hanakuah episodes as of yet, and the Seinfeld ‘Festivus’ episode is not online – anywhere – to my knowledge.    No slight was intended.   Enjoy!