Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Worst Thing About Black Friday

Well, no... the worst thing about Black Friday would be people pepper spraying each other, or getting robbed in the parking lots, or trampling other people.  Dudes.  It's an XBox.  Get over it.

The worst thing about Black Friday for me, however, is when I find something I want to buy and discover it was on a really good sale two days ago.  Don't get me wrong -- I'm not talking about a doorbuster or an Amazon lightning deal, or some such other situation where they only had a couple dozen (or hundred) available, and you had to brave pepper spraying lunatics to get one.  I'm talking about a perfectly good on-sale-for-a-couple-days price.  Which I missed.  And now, while the item may be listing for a decent price, I don't want to pull the trigger on it because I could have got it for less the other day, and who really knows if it will go on sale again next week?

In other words, I'm not making my buying decisions based on whether I'd be getting good value for my money right now ... but on the fact that I could have gotten better value for my money the other day, and the speculation that the better value price may reappear.  Because, I mean, I'd feel like a jackass if I ordered something today and it went cheaper again tomorrow.

And I'm talking significant money here.  Lord knows, in the great big "Time = Money" calculation (the calculation that had people camped out in front of my local Best Buy from the night before Thanksgiving), my time is worth more than five or ten bucks.  But there are two, er, big ticket items I've been looking seriously at.  If I hit the right prices, I can get both of them for about $500 total.  (Doorbusters would have put the combination at $350, but let's not go there.)  Worst case scenario prices put the combination at $700 or more.  And since these are what you might call luxury items -- you know, I don't really need either one -- my brain can justify spending $500 for the pair, but I balk at anything over that, because then it's, you know, real money.

In the meantime, I've still got another, I don't know, ten or fifteen things to buy for other people for the holidays, but the process of:  (1)  actually figuring out that I do want these things; (2) hunting down the cheapest current prices; and (3) figuring how much I'm actually willing to spend on this has taken up most of my weekend.

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