questionsremember all the great online deals last year on…

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For the most part I agree. Way more hype than substance. But, I did score a great quality Wilson A2000 baseball glove for my son last year for $80 online on Thanksgiving day -- saved well over $100 on that one.

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It used to be that Black Friday sales were a way for stores to show 4th quarter gains to their shareholders. I'm not sure why that has changed, other than maybe the margin of profit on many popular consumer items may have become thin enough that there's not room for deep discounts. Unlike regular sales where loss leaders will bring in shoppers who will buy a variety of full priced merchandise (standard practice in supermarket sales), Black Friday shoppers are there for specific merchandise and very few buy many regularly priced items while they are there for the advertised ones. So you have to make your profit on the advertised deals rather than taking a loss on a few things to get customers in the door where they will buy lots of other items.