“Cyber Monday is a sham” – Gadgetell Interview:

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michael brim of bfads gadgetell interview Now that Black Friday (BF) and Cyber Monday (CM) are recent memories, I chatted up Michael Brim of, a site I and many others rely on to provide us all with the very best Black Friday deals. I suspect Michael pulls all nighters working on getting these deals up and his site’s credibility is very high as many retailers “leak” their deals to him first. As an expert on Black Friday black magic, I figured his views on what is happening this year would be very interesting. I was right.

Gadgetell: Would you say this years BF/CM deals were bigger or would you say technology is driving prices down? Take HDTVs for an example.

It’s definitely more technology than retailers driving the prices down. I think we’re getting to the point where the manufacturing costs for electronics is plateauing and you’ve kind of hit your bottom price-point for a lot of electronics (watch me eat my words as we see 42″ LCD/Plasmas for $300 next year). The bright side is that the inexpensive consumer electronics offered during Black Friday are generally, of higher quality than the same items offered years prior. No longer are economy-line laptops horrible performers, you can get a decent laptop (albeit, older technology) for $400. A $400 laptop a couple years ago, while being the cheapest laptop available, were junk.

Gadgetell: Your site primarily focuses on BF. Do you plan to make a bigger draw for CM next year?

Cyber Monday is a sham. Retailers are dedicated to getting people to spend money and they do this by saying that Cyber Monday is the “official” online Black Friday equivalent. In reality, you can find much better deals online during Black Friday than you will on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is mainly a facade, some retailers do have comparable Cyber Monday sales, but for the most part, Cyber Monday is no better than a general weekly sale.

Gadgetell: Through this holiday season, do you suspect retailers to offer better deals than they did for BF/CM? Specifically I thinking of a Sanyo 42″ from WalMart for $599 I saw advertised last night.

Black Friday is kind of the end-all for announced “big” sales. There is the potential to get a deal that is hotter than a Black Friday sale every day of the week if you check deal sites every so often. The draw of Black Friday is that people associate it with great savings and are compelled to shop, even when there aren’t that great of deals there. Also, not everyone has the time or dedication to check deals sites multiple times a day.

I’ve been sent multiple emails advertising a retailer’s “Black Friday 2″ or what-not, it’s all a sham. I think that there exists the possibility that select items in advertised weekly sales could beat the prices offered on Black Friday, sure. But on the whole, I don’t think a weekly ad will entirely trump any Black Friday ad.

A big thanks to Michael for taking the time to answer these.

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photo credit: NY Times

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  • Taminar

    I thought the media came up with "Cyber Monday." A few years ago, online retailers reported huge sales on the Monday after Black Friday. Maybe people didn't find the deals they wanted, or the quantities were so limited, they missed them. So, they went back to work on Monday and placed an order. I agree with Michael that online retailers are jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon now, in hopes people will just stay home and shop while they're watching the game instead of braving long lines, crowds, and deadly riots in the big box stores.