For people living in the United States, this week marks Thanksgiving and, for many, an unofficial holiday: Black Friday, which is when retailers traditionally make major price cuts in order to lure in shoppers for a strong start to the Christmas season (the term 'Black' Friday refers to the fact that stores are all but assured of operating at a profit, or 'in the black,' for the day). For my readers living in other countries, the sales are so good that some people are willing to camp out all night outside a store in order to be among the first in line to get that special item.
Now, unfortunately, many people will spend like a drunken sailor and make all sorts of impulse buys upon seeing the word 'sale,' which is the goal of all retailers. Naturally, with photography (and astronomy) being expensive pursuits, if you are going to buy in order to fuel these hobbies this year, a lot of cash outlay already, which is all the ore reason to go into Black Friday with some smart shopping tips in the back of one's mind.
Running tomorrow through Wednesday, I will be using my Cleveland Photography Examiner column as an avenue through which to provide sound shopping advice. Basically, I will be writing on three main topics: why extended warranties are scams, how to weed through a salesman's pitches, and, last but not least, why it may be smart to not shop on Black Friday at all. Basically, I'll be running the full piece on Examiner while providing quick run-downs here for anyone who wants the most basic of info.
So, come the next three days, be sure to check back here or at Examiner for sound shopping advice that will hopefully keep you out of the poorhouse this Christmas season.
If you found this informative (or at least entertaining), help me pay my bills and check out my Examiner pages for space news, cleveland photography, national photography, and astronomy for more great stuff.
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