Gadgets Dominate Black Friday (and Happy Cyber Monday!)

By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Here’s a piece of trivia for you. Though now the term “Black Friday” (indicating the day after Thanksgiving in the US) has come to refer to the beginning of the period when retailers get back in the black (due to the heavy Christmas season shopping), that’s not the actual origin of the term. It originally referred to the heavy traffic on that day, a comparison to the chaos of Black Tuesday during the 1929 stock market crash. Since the current state of the economy has inspired a lot of references to 1929, the importance of Black Friday this year was particularly fitting. You could practically see the stock market holding its breath.

Luckily, all the worry was for nothing – retail sales were actually up 3% this year! And it looks like geeks were leading the way… or at least, gadget sales were. Nine of the ten most popular sales for Friday were gadgets… like a Sony Blu-Ray disc player, a Canon digital camera, and an Acer laptop. And on eBay, an MP3 player sold every 11 minutes (with the iPod touch leading the way).

The hit of the day, however, was the Nintendo Wii. It was also the most searched-for product on eBay, selling over 3,000 units there at an average price of $349. The Wii Fit also made the top ten sales overall. My alerts informed me that they were selling Wii bundles for $379 (bundles, of course, meaning one good game and two or three stupid games, like giving you Super Smash Bros. along with M&M Racing to make you think you’re getting a great deal).

And the odd one out (the non-gadget) in that top ten? Ugg boots. At number 2 right below the Wii. I can’t even think of anything funny about that. I’m just disturbed.

Strangely enough, nothing from our list made the cut.

Also, happy Cyber Monday! Today is supposed to be a companion to Black Friday–the premise being that shoppers would return to work on Monday and immediately go online to buy all the things they missed on Friday. OF course, not only has the term not really taken off, but today isn’t even the biggest online shopping day of the year. Oh, well.