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This Week In Your Wallet: Deals and Thanks (and More Deals)
Here they come. Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday. Let’s dish. But before we do… can I just say thanks? Thank you for being a part of my community. Whether you’re a reader just of this newsletter, a part of the HerMoney.com crowd, or a listener to my weekly podcast, I am grateful. Particularly in this year of social distancing, it is restorative to feel part of a community like this.
Black Friday… Month?
The verdict is in. Black Friday is no longer just a day. I started receiving emails (yes, I’m on too many lists) and heading down the Black Friday rabbit hole (yes, I do that, too) a good week ago. If you’re looking for the traditional BF merch — big screen TVs, smart speakers, mixers, game consoles — yeah, that stuff is there. Most of the big retailers aren’t even making you wait. They’ve released a slew of them as “Early Black Friday” deals. Here are Target’s, Best Buy’s, and of course Amazon’s, and our rundown of when to find the best deals at your favorite retailers at HerMoney.com.
Bargains are great. But that rabbit hole is exhausting. Which is why I was pleased to read in the Wall Street Journal that retailers are reducing the number of choices in the items they offer. “The wider the assortment, the more confused the customer is,” Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Chief Executive Mark Tritton told the Journal’s Suzanne Kapner. “Customers want something that is digestible. They want retailers to edit down the choices.”
And, just in case you’d like us to edit down your choices? Here’s HerMoney’s list of 14 Pandemic-Friendly Gifts. My favorites? Ina Garten’s new Modern Comfort Food cookbook. (Yes, I will be making that Chicken Pot Pie soup although it will be tough to unseat this Winter Minestrone as my go-to.) And, this bathtime wine holder. Because in a pandemic, a bath = good, wine = good, a bath + wine = ahhhh.
Small Business Saturday… Count Us In!
When American Express launched Small Business Saturday ten years ago, the country was just climbing out of the Great Recession. This was an effort — a marketing push, really — to make sure the stores and businesses that make our towns and villages distinctive made it through. This year, we need it more than ever. As Forbes reports, American Express research shows that 67 cents of every $1 spent at a small business stays in the local community. Which is why the company is putting $200 million behind the campaign this year, and extending it beyond a day. The new title is simply “Shop Small.” To participate on social media, post about your favorite small businesses using #shopsmall.
We’re all for that. So, what’s the best way to support your local merchants? First, understand that it may cost a little more. Your local bookstore may not be able to match Amazon’s prices — so decide in advance if you’re willing to pay it (consider paying for the pleasure of having a bookstore in your town). Second, know that you don’t have to leave home to do it. Many small businesses have shoppable websites. Those that don’t have phones. Call the proprietor and have a conversation about the gifts you’re looking for. Better yet, ask for suggestions. If all else fails, buy a gift card to give or keep for later use yourself.
P.S. REMINDER: Restaurants are small businesses, too.
Isn’t Every Day Cyber Monday?
When Black Friday starts the Sunday before and — like the Energizer Bunny, just keeps going — what happens to Cyber Monday? That is a really good question. Historically, once they got beyond the tech-heavy doorbusters, shoppers picked up things they wanted to see and feel (soft goods, clothing, etc.) when they were in the stores on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday was more dominated by tech. This year, some deals have already dropped, others will continue to drop, and there may be some prices that fall from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
Our best advice: This is when you need a price tracker like ShopSavvy, or for Amazon only CamelCamelCamel. You tell the price tracker what you’re looking for and set alerts at particular prices. These tools keep an eye out, and send deals your way whenever they’re uncovered. The app Honey is also worth a look — it searches for and applies coupon codes so you don’t have to hunt for them yourself.
Shouldn’t Every Day Be Giving Tuesday?
Ummm, yes. Which is why we’re heartened to hear that about 2/3 of Americans say they’re in for Giving Tuesday this year, according to new research from Pipslay. About 1/3 say they’ll give more than last year, with another 1/3 giving the same amount, despite the tough economic times brought about from the pandemic. And, in a finding that bodes well for Small Business Saturday, the largest swath of people who will give say they’re opening their wallets to small local charities (37%) with charities that benefit vulnerable individuals or small businesses coming in second (24%) and frontline workers or associated groups close behind (22%).
Everyone has (and is entitled to) an opinion about the neediest. For me, hunger is the thing I can’t bear. If you’re of like mind, check out this list of 15 worthy causes from Delish.com. Or, Google your local food pantry.
Have a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving,