How was your Thanksgiving? After the turkey and football game, was everyone around you revving up to go out shopping?
The “Black Friday” phenomenon came about several years back, when marketers figured out it would be the perfect day for people to begin Christmas shopping. A few major big box companies agreed with this idea, and started pushing the Friday after Thanksgiving as the time to shop. It makes sense: many people have the day off or an abbreviated work schedule. Plus, if shopping Friday is an impossibility, eager shoppers can always stop by on Saturday and Sunday for the best deals while they last. As the years passed by, “Black Friday” commercials inundated TV, radio, the internet, and print. When it comes to making your marketing message successful, sometimes the best thing to do is beat it to death. Repeat something enough times and most people will begin to believe it.
2012 was no exception to this madness. Major online retailers like Amazon and eBay offered specials, encouraging people to stay out of stores and buy on “Cyber Monday” (another unofficial shopping holiday). Walmart, Target, Costco, and many other stores crammed Black Friday down our throats with commercials beginning after Halloween. They also cleverly waited to release certain products beginning on Black Friday only, so people would feel an urgency to get out and buy things. In major metro areas, it’s not uncommon to see people lined up for hours outside stores for Black Friday specials. A few hardcore shoppers set up tents and cots just hours after finishing their Thanksgiving dinner. Come hell or high water, they were determined to be the first in line.
Is Black Friday A Good Day for Buying Paper Money?
Generally speaking, currency dealers and major auction houses do NOT schedule events around the Black Friday shopping day. Ebay.com might boldly advertise items for sale to regular currency buyers, but that doesn’t mean the sellers have notes available at a discount. Black Friday is aimed at more mainstream shoppers looking for good deals on clothing, electronics, jewelry, and other holiday gift staples.
The paper money hobby, much like coin collecting, usually runs its annual calendar according to major auction events. Top auctioneers Lyn Knight and Heritage Auctions have a bevvy of events scheduled throughout the year aimed at currency lovers on all budgets. These events are well attended by top dealers and aggressive buyers, hoping to find the perfect new note for their collection.
Paper money – particularly valuable notes – does not surface according to shopping days. Great notes popup at live auctions, eBay.com, and other collectible resale events when their owners are interested in selling. Currency sold by dealers comes available at varying price points based on current market supply and demand. Paper money values can be highly volatile: a note valued at $5,000 with only 5 known examples might suddenly lose value when 3 other notes are discovered or released from long term collections. When several notes flood the market, prices go down. If only one note hits the market in a calendar year, chances are it will go for a higher price because there is no other anticipated opportunity to purchase it.
Without a doubt, many people bought paper money as gifts on Black Friday, regardless of whether or not dealers were offering discounts. Many shoppers save money or payoff credit cards with the intention to shop the day after Thanksgiving. As a result, why not purchase a few notes while you have the money?
Beyond that exception, most collectors regularly patrol Ebay.com and major auction offerings for great notes year round, not limiting themselves to the holiday shopping season. In fact, some popular notes might be marked up BECAUSE the holidays are around the corner, and this reality gives many paper money shoppers the impetus to pay a little more than usual.
Otherwise, the best deals on currency are found scavenging through auction catalogs, searching the web, or contacting major dealers for quality notes. Like the stock market, the currency market has its own cycles: high times, low times, and everything in between. You probably wouldn’t buy stock on Black Friday unless you were getting a great deal, so don’t let the trends of the “secular” shopping world govern your hunt for great paper money.