Black Friday as an economic indicator, mainly because only garbage is on sale

The iconic sight of long lines at 5 am, filled with desperate consumers looking for a deal marks Black Friday, the day immediately proceeding U.S. Thanksgiving. It is on this Black Friday, and every other Black Friday, where consumers get a hold of substantial discounts … on garbage stores are desperately trying to get rid of.

A lot of the electronics on sale are of the refurbished kind: initial product failures and returns that have been cleaned, repackaged, sometimes re-branded, and sold at a deceptively deep discount, if you compared the price to a brand new non-refurbished version of the same product. Carried by the hype of Black Friday, these inferior products, which would normally be passed by more cautious consumers during almost any other time of year, sell out quickly.

Other products, not just electronics, show MSRPs well above what it should be outside of Black Friday. A normal, if not mediocre sale price, gives an illusion of a deep discount. Again, carried by the hype of Black Friday and signs promising “50+% off”, items that would normally be passed by more cautious consumers during almost any other time of year, sell out quickly.

Currently both the Canadian and U.S. governments paint a rosy picture for the economy and Black Friday sales will test the health of the consumer-based economy. Disposable income will dictate how much garbage these stores can unload to the blind consumer. If sales are good, then it’s safe to say that people are still feeling somewhat confident of the economic situation, and can afford to be reckless with their money. If sales are in decline, then consumers are probably pinching pennies. In today’s low interest rate environment, if it is indeed the latter, it is safe to say that in the economy is doing much more poorly than imagined.

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Avoid the rush at the shopping malls. Stay home and play a game at GameSlush.com instead.

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