Are you a Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday shopper?

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is known as the official kickoff day for the holiday shopping season. Since 2005, it has been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. Have you ever wondered how Black Friday got its name? There are two schools of thought on this:

  1. According to urban legend, the phrase Black Friday was first applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. [Wikipedia]
  2. The alternative explanation is that Black Friday is the day when retailers finally begin to turn a profit for the year. In accounting terms, operating at a profit is called being “in the black” whereas operating at a loss (losing money) is called being “in the red” because accountants traditionally used red ink to show negative amounts. [Wonderopolis]

No matter which explanation makes sense to you (perhaps a bit of both?), if you’re a Black Friday shopper you may be one of a large group of people who plan for this day all year by researching the products and brand names you want, keeping track of the “normal” retail price, and collecting any applicable coupons, customer incentives, or discount codes to get the best possible deal on the merchandise you want during the biggest shopping day of the year.

For others, Small Business Saturday (the day after Black Friday) is your day to shop for all those bargains and special gifts. Small Business Saturday, first observed in the U.S. in 2010, encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. [Wikipedia]. This is the day to focus on that small “mom and pop” business in your neighborhood and give them your holiday dollars instead of spending your budget at a major retailer or big box store, which are the usual targets of Black Friday shoppers.

Cyber Monday follows Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and is a boon for those who don’t live in an area with lots of retailers, large or small, or people who prefer to do their shopping online, sometimes in their jammies. Cyber Monday allows online holiday shoppers to order their holiday gifts and seasonal merchandise from the comfort of their own homes and take advantage of coupon codes, free shipping, BOGOs, and other online retailer shopping incentives. There are no crowds to fight, no searching for a parking spot in a crowded lot, no need to deal with pedestrian mall traffic or traffic on the road. No matter how blustery the weather, you can get deals and arrange delivery all while sipping on a steaming mug of hot chocolate in your easy chair.

To follow up these days focused on shopping, in 2012 #GivingTuesday was established as a day of generosity and philanthropy, when individuals, companies, communities and corporations can focus on giving to charities and others in need.

We hope you enjoy the holiday shopping season and snag yourself some phenomenal bargains, whether you shop on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday. Happy shopping!