Thanksgiving is history. It was pretty quiet this year because the whole Fahrenbacher clan did not get together, we will for Christmas.
I did not partake in Black Friday, to be honest I have only done that once. In 1994, I went shopping on Black Friday with my friend Kirby. I don’t even think I bought anything, more to be social. The studio was open Saturday from 10-2 and I did have a new visitor and Monday was the online day.
Last year, I was excited and thought I needed to participate in the kick off to the holiday shopping season. If my memory serves me right, I offered 20% off Friday-Monday on all pottery listed in my Etsy store. I sold zip. Disappointed, I continued selling throughout December.
When this year rolled around, I didn’t even think about promoting the shopping weekend. As a (extra) small business I can’t compete with big box stores and their deep discounts. If you want a mug for $4, be my guest. And speaking of big box stores how much of a profit are they actually making on Black Friday? Two things occur: 1) either the initial price of their merchandise is so inflated that when the merchandise is discounted the retailer still makes profit or 2) when the prices are discounted retailers don’t make a profit at all.
My dad always tells a business joke that goes along the lines of “we loose $5000 a case, but make it up in volume.” Not really.
As for Small Business Saturday it’s a good idea. I’m not sure how sincere the idea is since SBS was started by American Express. I will admit I caught myself looking at snow boots on Land’s End Saturday. I stopped, emptied my virtual cart, and decided to go to my local small business shoe store instead.
As for Monday I didn’t do anything in either on my online stores. Nada.
I’m reporting I made 5 internet sales this weekend. It’s not a ton, but it’s more than last year.
I don’t want to turn this into a business math lesson, so in closing I will say this: your hard earned money will have more of an impact on the American economy if you value quality over quantity. Shop local (that doensn’t mean your local Wal-Mart) and shop from the small independent business owners, be that pizzerias or drugstores.
Where you spend your money does matter.