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Black Friday is a monumental day in American shopping culture. Even in today’s poor economy folks are camping in front of stores, and mapping the routes to their favorite gifts. However according to a new article in the New York Times everything may not be all that is seems.

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Professor Oren Etzioni, who teaches computer science at the University of Washington explained the strategic motives behind Black Friday:

“The bottom line is, Black Friday is for the retailers to go from the red into the black,” he said. “It’s not really for people to get great deals on the most popular products.”

Beyond that, the quality of the gifts people purchase on Black Friday are not as high as when we get closer to December. Many stores are just trying to dump their old inventory so they can bring in the newest items. Dan de Grandpre, who tracks deals at stated:

“Black Friday is about cheap stuff at cheap prices, and I mean cheap in every connotation of the word.”

As you storm the isles today, be sure to take a step back and make sure you’re not getting clowned. Patience and perseverance in seeking the best sales may keep you happiest during  the holidays. Read the entire story in The New York Times.

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