I normally don't, but this year I'm making an exception.
No, it's not because I'm moving into new digs and I need to furnish the place with shiny, new tech (I do), or that I'm addicted to buying tech goodies (I am). Instead, I'm shopping this Black Friday for two main reasons: prices are much lower than they were last Black Friday and--call me a patriot or a fool--I want to do what I can to help businesses and the economy.
Prices this year are outstanding. A 32-inch Sony LCD HDTV can be picked up at Circuit City for just $499, and the beautiful 50-inch 1080p Panasonic Viera TH-50PZ800U can be ordered from Amazon for just $1,881. Some of the low-end GPS models from TomTom and others can be purchased for under $100 this year and notebooks from HP, Dell, and even Apple are discounted Friday.
I can't remember any other year in recent memory where so many high-quality products could be purchased at such discounted prices. GPS devices for under $100? A high-end Panasonic plasma for under $2,000? A Sony LCD for just $499? Are you kidding me?
This year, it's too tough to pass up.
But I have an ulterior motive for buying some gadgetry goodness this year: I want to do what I can to help the economy.
Historically, Black Friday has been the single day many retailers could "get in the black" and start making some money after a long year of maintaining losses. As the economy continues to spiral into a recession and businesses are feeling the pressure, I think it's incumbent upon consumers to do what we can to help turn things around.
By buying as much as fiscal responsibility allows this year, we're not just doing businesses a favor, we're doing each other a favor--higher business revenue leads to higher employment. In essence, we're keeping our neighbors gainfully employed and ensuring that although we're all being rocked by a recession that has seen millions lose their jobs and possibly force companies to crumble, we can do our part to soften the blow.
Maybe I'm hoping for the best without preparing for the worst, but I think businesses have done their part. They've discounted products across the board more heavily than they have in the past. Now it's time we do ours.
I'm not here to tell you how to spend your money or to even say that you should. All I'm saying is that if you're willing to spend cash this holiday season, don't be afraid of what might come.
The economy is bad and troubling times may be ahead. But I truly believe that this holiday season, if successful for businesses, will help all of us over the long term.
Now excuse me while I hit the road and start picking up some tech.