“Back in the Day,” (when TSTOAddicts, TSTOFriends, TSTOTips, and yes…even TSTOTopix) were all struggling to get “audience share” in what was then known as “the Great TSTO Blog-O-Sphere,” I used to write regularly for both TSTOTips (that is a long story of intrigue, mayhem, and backchannel espionage, because 4 years ago today, TSTOFriends hadn’t even launched yet), as well as TSTOAddicts. For TSTOAddicts, I wrote three regular weekly posts, “ManicMonday,” “HumpDay” and “TGIF.” That was a loooooooooooooong time ago. And of course, we all know the sordid tale of how Alissa ended up being the “Godmother of TSTO” and TSTO Addicts came out on top as the de-facto “Legit Leading Syndicate” of TSTO Blogs. We are all better tappers for the journey…The right blog came out on top!
If you don’t know all of the history…tough beans. We aren’t going to rehash it all again. Most of those who were in the middle of the “Great Blog-O-Sphere Wars of 2013″ are swimming with the fishes, or have skulked off into some corner of the ” TSTO Dark Web” (TSTO message boards, Facebook pages, Reddit, the Forum, or in the case of Ryan, got a real life!). They now spend most of their time talking among themselves, to further mythologize their roles in the early TSTO history, or whine (through text messages or subtle comments on blog posts), when one of us who was actually on the inside, gets too chippy. But, I digress…
It’s HUMP DAY (also known as Wednesday…the day you get over the hump for the work week), and I am here to offer some helpful tips in making your Black Friday Sales Shopping EAsier!
I bring up the “history” of the “Blog-O-Sphere” because in TSTO terms, we have been tapping and blogging FOR AN ETERNITY. If a human year equals seven “Dog Years,” then there has to be fifteen TSTO years in a human year…which means in TSTO Years, we have been blogging for well over 60 years (which ironically, crosses over into my human age, of “soon-to-be-64”). What any of this means, is that we have been around the block for ALL of the TSTO Black Fridays and know our way around the BEST DEALS, that offer the BEST VALUES, for the BEST PRICES!!
***Which I am going to let Safi cover in upcoming Black Friday posts…
But, I AM going to give you some GREAT GENERAL SHOPPING TIPS for making Black Friday the Best Black Friday Ever!!!
There are three general tips to understand about Black Friday shopping…
1. Don’t line up around the block…this isn’t Best Buy, or Walmart. There is no physical store. And if your neighbors see you standing outside for hours on end, tapping your padular device, or even worse, sleeping for days in a tent on a sidewalk to be “first in line,” they are going to have you hauled off to Calmwood.
2. IGNORE all of BOLD, BEST DEAL EVER, print in all advertising. Take it from someone who has been in advertising and marketing for their entire adult life (more than 40 years…ergh!!), There is NO SUCH THING AS “The Best Deal Ever.” That Amazing “Deal” on a flat screen TV??? Check the fine print and the model number… it is last year’s model, repackaged with fewer features…and there are only 4-6 of them at any store location. They will be gone in the first 5 minutes, if you aren’t crushed in the rush to get to them at the back of the store (they are always at the back of the store, so you have to pass the rest of the deals on the way), or someone doesn’t set your tent on fire to divert you. Nothing is worth that. There are hardly any good shows on regular TV these days anyway…
3. DON”T GET SUCKED IN BY FAKE DISCOUNTS!!
In regards to TSTO…THIS IS THE SAME STUFF…repackaged to LOOK like a great deal. This is the third Black Friday from TSTO…and that should tip you off. They needed a couple of years worth of TSTO item gathering, to have enough to do a “sale.” The first year fell just weeks after the game started, and the 2nd year was the the first time they actually offered real Thanksgiving stuff that wasn’t a turkey (but included the NPC turkey).
I don’t even have to look at the the list of stuff being offered this year, or try to dissect the “New Black Friday Mystery Box” concept, to understand that this is ALL the Same Old Stuff being offered at “CLEARANCE PRICES”...sort of.
First of all…any Mystery Box denotes itself as a “Mini-Gamble” in that you MIGHT get the item you wanted from the box. MIGHT!!! That’s what gambling is all about...risking something to get something, or not.
This would be like standing in line for Black Friday, running over to where the Flat Screen TVs are…plunking down your $199.99, and then finding out that you Didn’t Get the TV. but we are going to give you this Amazing Food Processor of equal or lesser value!” Wait…you wanted a TV!!!!! But, the “good news” is that the Food Processor that you didn’t want, will only cost you $199.99, which is $100 off of the inflated “Suggested Retail Price” (which we raised right before Black Friday, so the “Discount” looked bigger).
Yes. This is why advertising is called the “darkest art form” in the modern world.
So, while you MIGHT get the Donut Truck – Originally 40 donuts, which comes with 2% bonus to XP and cash for just 20 donuts (the price of a Bronze mystery box), you might ALSO get an IRS drone, or Mr. Sparkle (who apparently has turnips the size of a large radish). So…if you WANTED the Donut Truck, it may take you 2 or 3 attempts at 20 donuts each, to get what you wanted in the first place…and you may actually end up spending more than the original price!
Now…do the same thing, with mystery boxes ranging up to 80 donuts a pop…
GREAT DEAL??? I don’t think so.
***POSSIBLE EXCEPTION TO WATCH FOR…
If you check Safi’s Black Friday preview posts, you will see that there are a handful of items that have Bonus % Multipliers associated with them. But, even in this case, you need to do the math, in that you have a One in THREE chance of getting the item you want. Yes…getting a 5% bonus item like Springfield Gorge for 80 Donuts might seem like a “great deal” as the original price was 250 donuts. However…if it takes you three times to get it, that’s 240 donuts…a lousy 10 donut savings. BUT…watch for the Bonus % Items. At least they are the “gift that keeps on giving!”
Look…I could go on and on about how most “Great Deals” just aren’t. Or how people have been conditioned to “jump at a bargain” on loads of clutter and crap that actually complicates their lives, rather than makes them better. But the sad fact is…after decades spent manipulating “sheeple,” for a living…I know that a large majority of you haven’t read most of this post, and have only read the stuff that is in BOLD...because that is how our brains have been conditioned to buy. Read the headline...ignore the small print.
And to all of you who want to call me “cranky” or a “kill joy,” I say….pffffffttttttt. I LOVE Black Friday!!! Because it is the one day of the year, when I pretty much have the house to myself as my wife and daughters “hit the sales,” and I can just watch football…or reruns of “the Simpsons” or actually wait for the BEST DEALS….which happen on CYBER MONDAY!
But, for all of you…who are bound and determined to “GET IT ALL at the BEST PRICES EVER!!!” I will actually say, Read Safi’s Posts that break down all of the best Black Friday Deals. You will SAVE A BUNDLE!!!
Oh…and if you want some leads on REAL BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING…and CYBER MONDAY SPECIALS... Here are a couple of great links to help you Beat the Crowds (not really) SAVE A BUNDLE (spending money isn’t saving money) and MAKING YOUR HOLIDAYS THE BEST EVER! (if you need a bunch of clutter to make your holidays whole…then thank you, for keeping the GDP popping at the end of a lackluster retail marketing year).
1. BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE FROM CNN MONEY (so it must be true…right?). CLICK HERE
2. BEST CYBER MONDAY DEALS FROM AMAZON
(because if you haven’t become an Amazon Prime customer yet…you will be assimilated).
HAPPY HOLIDAYS (and for Alissa….MERRY CHRISTMAS!!)...let the Spending Begin!