Will Edwinson

Author & Storyteller

Black Friday Reminds Me of Ye Olde Carnival Barkers.

HeadShot_burnedGreetings, folks.  Well, another of those ludicrous Black Fridays is a week behind us. This phenomenon reminds me of  those old fashioned Carnival Barkers and their chants. “Step right up folks, step right up folks.  Try your luck at winning a valuable prize.”  About the only thing that I can see that has changed from that era and today’s Black Friday pitches, is the verbiage.

Now it’s,  “Come on in folks, come on in folks. Were open at midnight. Come inCarnival Barker and take advantage of these great deals. Last chance to save a ton of money on these great bargains.  35%, 50%, 75%, off on items while they last.  You can’t afford to miss out on these great bargains.

Black Friday is hailed as the “make or break” day for many businesses in the U. S.  My question is, if these merchants can afford to sell these items at these so-called heavily discounted prices on Black Friday, why aren’t these same prices offered as regular prices for the whole year?  It looks to me like they could save themselves a lot of headaches dealing with “mob” type shoppers, and damage to goods caused by these loony-tunes type customers fighting over them.

Could it be that all these so-called bargain items are offered on a very limited supply, (the old bait and switch game) and the purpose is simply to get gullible shoppers into the store in hope of selling them other more expensive items maybe? Hmmmmm? It takes me back to days of the 1950s and ’60s and the old trick of marking the regular price of an item up 15 or 20%, then drawing a line through it to make it look as though it had been marked down.

Macy's 1948From what I could discern from reading a recent news story, Macy’s in New York City may have started the hype of Black Friday in 1948 before it was dubbed Black Friday.  What I concluded from that article is that Macy’s had certain items they stocked especially for this after Thanksgiving shopping day.  But if I understood the article correctly, they told the shoppers beforehand that those items were the only ones on sale. People came to get those items. but they still exercised manners and decorum—no pushing and shoving or fighting over the item.The shoppers in those days appeared to be much more mannerly, and exercised decorum; much different from what I’ve seen on TV and read of the crowds today.

I saw one news headline(I didn’t get a chance to read the entire story before theyBlack Friday 2014 I took it down) that stated: BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPERS WORST KIND OF CUSTOMERS.  Well…my reaction to that is, if they are the worst customers, the merchants brought it on themselves with all the hype they have created.  They make it sound like the end of the world is coming if you don’t get down there and purchase this or that item. And as I stated earlier, I think the whole thing is a gigantic hype, much the same as the Carnival Barkers.   The new term for this selling technique is marketing.  I think a better term would be hyperbole. I avoid Black Friday like the plague.  I have better things to do with my time than witness people in a brawl to spend their money.

As a nation, I believe we have lost much of what we were noted for in the early Black Friday 2014 IIyears of our history.  One person wrote the following about America:  the miracle of America originally brought forth a breed of human being that was noted for its desire to do the right thing because common decency and common sense dictated common standards of conduct.  Because of this, each generation rose higher and higher on the ladder of civilization with genuine and lasting results.  From that stated standard, I believe we as a people have regressed.

Rube's image by Lori Corbett - Third Raven Design lcorbett@cableone.net

Rube’s image by Lori Corbett – Third Raven Design

As Rube would say, “See ya next time.

Will 🙂

Now, I’m going to employ a marketing technique of my own.  I’m not offering you a so-called “last chance” discount, but I am offering you a free sample of my latest novel, SHADOW REVOLUTION.  You can read a short synopsis on the flyer below,  and you can also obtain, free, a sample of the preface, prologue, and chapter one, by going to the free gift offer button at upper right of this webpage  If, after you’ve read the flyer and the free sample, you decide there is someone on your Christmas list who you think would enjoy this story, you can purchase it at www.amazon.com and www.barnes&noble com in print version, or it’s also available on all five e-reader devices. I have two other books listed on those sites, also, Buddy…His Trial and Treasures, and LouIsa—Iron Dove of the Frontier.  You might check those out also, while you are there.  Perhaps you have people on your Christmas list that would enjoy one or more of these books.


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Copyright 2013 Will Edwinson