I was not one of the thousands to venture out to the malls and big box stores for Black Friday. More power to those of you that did — I need my personal space when I shop. The sight of crowds stampeding through a store in some kind of deranged Supermarket Sweep mission terrifies me under the best of circumstances.

And this year, tragically we saw the effects of consumerism at its absolute worst when Jdimytai Damour was killed by a stampede of shoppers at Walmart. That’s a shop-by-any-means-necessary mentality I can’t comprehend. Even though it’s 5 a.m. and you’ve been waiting in line in the cold – don’t you realize someone’s body is lying at your feet as you race over them for the last flatscreen television? What a sad, sad story. My heart goes out to his family.

Many of the folks who head out shopping on Black Friday see the thrill of the chase as fun, a chance to get together with friends or family to hit the mall, to treat themselves to that big ticket item they’ve wanted all year. In an economic crunch like this, consumers have been chomping at the bit for heavy discounts. From my friends who braved the Black Friday crowds here in Miami, I hear there were deals aplenty for the purchasing. But the crush of people can make the experience frightening and unbearable. For convenient shopping, I far prefer the opportunities presented today.

They call today “Cyber Monday,” but wouldn’t you know it — Cyber Monday is nothing but a marketing ploy. In fact, it’s not even the biggest online shopping day of the year!

What Cyber Monday is, is a day for retailers to extend their Thanksgiving holiday sales, and a chance for you to luck out with deep discounts and offers of free shipping. Now, if you’re a shopaholic you should be on your best behavior — as my friend the Frugalista indicates — it’s all too easy to click and purchase and not realize how deep of a hole you’re digging for yourself. But if you’re looking for deals, CyberMonday.com should be your first port of call.

Yes, there are your typical electronic and toy sales, but if you’re looking for a special somethin’ for you — I discovered some sweet women’s apparel deals. So did my amiga at Stylin’ and Profilin’ — check her out for a list of Black Friday deals, many of which are continuing through today. I’m looking at you, Ashley Stewart!

In terms of beauty booty, Sephora’s offering free shipping for purchases over $50 – which means you can get 2 of their gifts under $25 and give something to your mama while getting something for yourself. Might I suggest the Dylan’s Candy Bar Birthday Cake Batter collection? I hear amazing things about the brand. And that Shu Uemura 24 karat gold plated eyelash curler for $24 is practically screaming my name.

Drugstore.com has deals up to 50% off, and my beloved Benefit has a “Primpcess” deal — a sweet eye makeup kit for $34 that includes creaseless cream shadowliner, powder shadows, and a BADgal mini mascara.

Bobbi Brown is offering free shipping — say hello to their new Copper Diamond shimmer brick. It is just gorgeous. If you don’t believe me, check out Karlasugar of The Next Best Thing to Going Shopping Yourself — she always swatches the newest and latest so you can see how sparkly and pretty products are before you purchase.

For cute and super cheap gifties, E.L.F is offering 50% for 50 hours, and Target has leaped head first into cosmetics just in time for the holidays. Do you need that IMAN beauty success kit? For $10.99, why not?

Those of you curious about the Wen Hair Care Sysyem can score the 30-day supply for $29.95. This could be your (and my) chance to try the talked-about brand.

Are you shopping online today, bellas? How’s your holiday gift list going? Are you down with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or do you feel as What About Our Daughters do — maybe we need a recession to curb us of all this shop-shop-shopping?

I’ve got some fun gift suggestions coming your way soon – but today it’s not just Cyber Monday, it’s also plain ol’ back to work Monday. So have a good one and I’ll catch you later!

** I got my photo above from a Google image search. Thanks, Macalua.com.

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loryn says:
December 1, 2008, 10:25 am
oh, saw the dylan's candy bar line in new york's sephora this weekend and thought it was too sweet smelling...maybe i'll give it another try?
nyc/caribbean ragazza says:
December 1, 2008, 10:57 am
I was horrified by the Damour's death. I can't believe people actually had an attitude when the store said they had to close for a few hours. Sad.
Joede says:
December 1, 2008, 11:06 am
Don't forget to shop local and independent businesses online as well!
Nina says:
December 1, 2008, 12:03 pm
I was actually at Green Acres mall with my sister after it happened. We were there much later in the morning, and didn't understand why there were so many news trucks and police cars. As we got closer to the store, we bumped into people who told us what happened and they were more angry about the store closing than the trampling. By the time we got there, they were cleaning up the crime scene, and reopening the store. I was disturbed that they didn't close the store (at least in reverence). My sister tried to comfort me by explaining that the store was probably under pressure to move merchandise and to soothe the angry stragglers, but she didn't buy her own explanation, and we decided to leave. I know I can't really blame WalMart, but it felt like they were shrugging their shoulders...and shirking responsibility. I am personally done with WalMart and hope that others will join me...I should've stopped shopping there years ago, but this was my wake-up call. As for the rabid consumers...I am not sure that a recession will save anyone from a mentality that comes from twisted priorities. A recession may force people to make better choices, but I doubt it will make any of us better people. I am not sure that people really want to BE any better. I mean, not only did the store reopen, but many of the people sat there and waited until it did (not peacefully, I might add), then went shopping as if nothing happened.
Nina says:
December 1, 2008, 12:27 pm
Oh, and I had to share this article, because it is absolutely dead on: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/business/media/01carr.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=media
beautychemist says:
December 1, 2008, 12:44 pm
It is such a tragedy for someone to have lost their life prematurely- and it is even more tragic when it is over a sale item. My heart goes out to his family.
Get Togetha says:
December 1, 2008, 1:04 pm
I don't want to blow the incident out of proportion but dang...are we really that senseless... I like shopping online; cause I can do it in my underpants. I'm like you Bella; I hate crowds and if you do your research and follow blogs you really can find deals that will save you time and stress. GT
TJ says:
December 1, 2008, 1:08 pm
I usually go out during off peak hours on black Saturday to gauge what's being marked down this year. It makes my online shopping go a lot more smoothly because I know what I'm looking for. I think cyber monday is an attempt by retailers to get better numbers.
LB says:
December 1, 2008, 1:09 pm
I do feel bad about Damour's death. I have always had a fear of being trampled during Black Friday because of the way people act like savages over items. I have a few in-laws and friends who brave the drama, but my family just buy gifts early, or we wait until after Christmas. I think I'm going to pass on Cyber Monday too. I'm saving up for a plane ticket to visit family and friends on the East Coast who I haven't seen in about 4 years. That's way more important to me.
Laquita says:
December 1, 2008, 1:46 pm
I was also horrified at what happened at Walmart. And like you I do not like shopping in crowds of people, and do not think it is fun at all. I acutally did go out before work on Black Friday with my husband (we ended up leaving a Walmart because of the huge crowd in line), but we were pretty much just checking out the prices - we did however score a cheap Xbox for my step-daughter. Again, I will also be 'window' shopping this cyber-Monday, while at work.
MsJackson says:
December 1, 2008, 2:00 pm
I guess I'm just a sucker. Anyways for the next two weeks if you type in the offer code "dominique" on the Carol's Daughter website, you get free shipping.
Wes says:
December 1, 2008, 3:20 pm
I won't be shopping... I'm even staying inside on my lunch breaks to avoid temptations!
mahoganydymond says:
December 1, 2008, 3:28 pm
It is sad about what happened this Black Friday. I opted out for the past 2 years. I don't even do Cyber Monday's. I am not quite sure who I am going to give a gift to this year.
Nubeauti says:
December 1, 2008, 3:33 pm
I did shop on Black Friday and I have been looking for a specific toy item for my son today. I haven't found it yet. :( Oh well. Maybe I will go scoop up that Bobbi Brown copper diamon shimmer brick for myself. Yes!
WARRIOR11209 says:
December 1, 2008, 4:14 pm
It was truly tragic what happened in Green Acres Walmart and Nina thanks for the NY Times link. We scaled back our shopping for the holidays about 6 yrs ago - the kids will give a list of about 5 things each(usually books or music) that they really want and we do all our shopping on-line. The madness of the early morning Black Friday rush was never worth it to me.
tanya says:
December 1, 2008, 7:43 pm
The Walmart incident sickens me to no end. I'm not sure how you can actually step on a person and not give a sh-- while you're doing so. The amount of greed that we exhibit around this holiday is astounding. I don't do the Black Friday or CyberMonday thing. Every year (as I am a perpetually poor student), I self-impose a spending limit for each of the people I care to shop for, and send a card to the rest. However, I think the limit will go down a little this year. And I urge people to not give me any presents. I mean, we say we need this or that, but do we really? I say no, we don't.
Tamra says:
December 1, 2008, 7:49 pm
Dead-on post! Thank you, Bella. I don't get it either. And I'm SO not a crowd person--I order my groceries online and have them delivered because I can't handle the grocery store--well, they can't handle me--I've been known to (tactfully) call out bad behavior on the parts of both children and adults... I've never understood this en masse shopping...frenzy. I'm with you--what kind of savages/barbarians are we that we physically feel another human being being trampled right underneath our feet and we become totally oblivious to it because we must SHOP? A-men to stating the extent to which these themed days are nothing but all-out marketing ploys...not buying into it (literally and figuratively) for a minute. Sigh! That whole thing was kind of depressing--especially when you think about how many of the folks who did the trampling made all kinds of reflective proclamations about how "thankful" they are just the day before...
TJ says:
December 1, 2008, 9:28 pm
Walmart is all about the almighty dollar. Employees and shoppers, well, they are not so important. I haven't shopped there in years. Don't plan to. Don't do that Friday shopping thing, either. Getting up early to save those pennies was a real lark in my early 20's. Even then I couldn't see myself walking on top of somebody to do it. Somebody's life is over because of the crap in walmart? Really? Sigh.
lauren says:
December 1, 2008, 10:46 pm
thanks bella! just used the cybermonday.com website to find a great deal on my fav. fragrance, pacific paradise! and got a second bottle for only $10 on perfumania!! thanks for tha link bella!
Sabrina97 says:
December 1, 2008, 11:57 pm
My friend in Memphis went out and she saw a lady go into labor and the lady refused to leave the store until she got her TV! Seriously!?!? That's part of the reason why I didn't go out...besides, it was too cold. I went out later.
SacredAngel says:
December 2, 2008, 5:09 am
I don't think Wal-Mart is to blame for the trampling. People are just that horrid these days. I mean think about Wal-Mart's position. Can you imagine the riot and the outrage if they hadn't reopened? People have tried to break in places on Black Fridays past. I wouldn't put it past people now.
Yellow and Brown says:
December 2, 2008, 11:58 pm
I can't help but think that people would have responded a lot differently if he had been a white women. Think about it. What the H-LL does most Americans feel about killing a black man....sad but, true.
green card says:
December 24, 2008, 4:49 am
Why this web site do not have other languages support?


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