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Black Friday

Tomorrow is “Black Friday” — so named because it’s the day many retailers start to make money for the year (black verses red ink on the ledger).

I personally don’t have the desire to wake up at the crack of dawn and fight the crowds for a handful of great deals… I’m more than happy to slumber in my bed while the hoards fight their way through retailers who create a frenzy in the hopes that they can make their sales quotas.

This year has shaped up a little different than many in the past…

In years before there have been “leaks” of Black Friday special (whether they’re really un-official or not I’ll let you decide).

This year it appears that many retailers have actually provided “previews” of the Black Friday sales; and others have slashed prices in advance of the holidays.

My guess is Black Friday will have record sales (after all, it’s a down economy, and many who will spend money this year will be looking to make it go as far as they can)… but my guess is that the rest of the weekend will no have spectacular sales (unless retailers keep up the insanely low prices and continue to offer lots of lost-leaders).

Remember, many retailers had to place orders for the holidays before Labor Day; and the “public” melt-down of the economy happened after that… so if retailers were in denial about their own numbers at that point and believed “the economy is strong” lie the administration perpetrated then they ordered and ordered and ordered… which means there’s stock that has to be sold.

My guess is that we might not see really deep discounts the week and weekend after Thanksgiving weekend, but by the next week and weekend through xmas we’re going to see retailers panicing to clear out as much inventory as they can and minimize the potential loses for the season.

Some retailers will probably make money this season (typically discounters do moderately well in a down economy; so if there’s money to be spent it’ll generally be at retailers that offer value); though we may find out just how bad the economy is.

Bottom line, if you’ve got money, and have a shopping list (or are open to big ticket purchases at great prices), you’re probably not going to have to deal with Black Friday — and just wait until after xmas; retailers that don’t sell will have to clear out the merchandise (just to pay the interest on the money they borrowed for the inventory).

It’s starting to feel a little bit like xmas!  HO HO HO!

Going On A Trip?

Gas Buddy has a new feature… a trip calculator for gasoline — it’ll attempt to find the best gas prices along the way for you on your trip.

It does a reasonably good job; but it doesn’t take the strategy into account that you can top off your tank before you enter a higher priced gas area and only put as much as in at higher prices to make it through to a lower price area; but it’s a start.


Free Zone Alarm

→ Tuesday 18-Nov-2008 ONLY ←

I’m not a Zone Alarm fan, but if you are you might want to take advantage of getting a free copy of Zone Alarm; CheckPoint / ZoneAlarm does require a “valid” email address to send the registration key to (and subscribe you to their marketing information) so I suggest creating a “throw-away” address to give them (you can use GMail, Yahoo, Live/MSN, or your own domain).

Personally I think you’re better off to stick with a good antivirus (like avast!) and the Vista / XP built in firewall (more software you don’t really need = more problems you don’t really want).

→ Tuesday 18-Nov-2008 ONLY ←

UPDATE: ZoneAlarm delivered a download link and a key… a little more than 24-hours after signing up for it.

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