November 19, 2005


Shop-Till-You-Drop Specials, Revealed Here First (Michael Barbaro, Nov 19, 2005, NY Times)

Or at least that is how it worked before people like Michael Brim came along. From a cramped dorm room in California, [Michael] Brim, an 18-year-old college freshman who dines on Lucky Charms and says he rarely shops, is abruptly pulling back the curtain on the biggest shopping day of the year.

His Web site,, publishes the circulars for what retailers call Black Friday--the day that officially starts the holiday shopping season. And he's doing it weeks ahead of time.

So far this year, sources have leaked advertisements to him from Toys "R" Us (showing the Barbie Fashion Show Mall, regularly $99.99, for $29.97); Sears (a Canon ZR100 MiniDV camcorder, regularly $329.99, for $249.99); and Ace Hardware (a Skil 12-volt drill, regularly $44.99, for $24.99).

Brim says his motive is to educate consumers. But retailers are furious, arguing that the site jeopardizes their holiday business, and they have threatened legal action.

But is not their only problem. There are now at least three Web sites dedicated to digging up Black Friday sales secrets, creating a fierce competition to post the ads first.

Bet Alan Greenspan's never even heard of him.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 19, 2005 12:52 PM

oj. Why no links?

Posted by: erp at November 19, 2005 2:35 PM

What can the retailers do? After all, Sony is having to engage in some major damage control over its non-copy code on 50+ CDs, because the only alternative was to have the entire tech world lined up against it. If the retailers want to keep secrets, they will just have to do a better job.

Posted by: ratbert at November 19, 2005 10:00 PM

I have taken a great oath to stay out of the stores between thanksgiving and christmas.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 21, 2005 1:19 AM


Why should Greenspan have heard of Brim ?

According to YOU, what Brim is doing has "no intrinsic value".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 21, 2005 2:16 AM


How much did it cost you to obtain the information on his site?

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2005 8:02 AM

Of course, he's probably never heard of Alan Greenspan, either.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2005 9:13 PM

There's no monetary cost to me to watch television, either, but I find the information and entertainment obtained to have value, and the networks profit from my attention.

Why else do you have Google ads ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 22, 2005 4:03 AM

Yes, there's no intrinsic value which is why the bubble went bust. The functioning Internet model is television.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2005 6:45 AM

"Intrinsic" doesn't mean what you apparently believe it to mean.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 23, 2005 3:58 AM

What would you pay for the data?

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2005 8:16 AM