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Long IslandColumnistsEllis Henican

Snubbing the mad dash for deals is a luxury

As happened a year ago on Thanksgiving night,

As happened a year ago on Thanksgiving night, shoppers are ready to go for the bargains of Black Friday. This was early Friday morning a year ago at a Best Buy on Union Square in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Getty Images, 2011

Attention, affluent shoppers: Pre-dawn sales are for the little people! You don't need a $179 flat screen that bad!

Did you notice who woke up at 4 in the morning and rushed out to the mall? I didn't take my own scientific survey. But not too many millionaires were busting down the doors at Kmart and giving Black Friday interviews.

No one pulled a firearm at Swarovski. That was at a Sears in Texas. No shots were fired outside Neiman Marcus. That was at Walmart in Florida.

Here on the Great American Bargain Hunt, we've always had mixed feeling about our own mad scramble for cheap. All of us hate to pay more than we have to. Yet most of us also think of ourselves as people who will occasionally splurge.

The Spectrem Group, a consulting firm that tracks the spending habits of the wealthy, caused a stir at week's end with its own survey of the Black Friday clientele. The most interesting conclusion: Eighty-three percent of Americans with $1 million or more in investable assets wouldn't be shopping at all.

They're too busy AND too rich.

Apparently, they'd sooner snub their own doormen and caddies than hover outside a Target in the early-morning dew.

"This group is more oriented toward quality and value rather than price," declared George Walper, Spectrem's president.

And where were the one-day door-buster blowouts high-priced automobiles and luxury homes? The really good stuff rarely goes on sale.

That just may be the hidden message inside this preholiday shopping hysteria:

Enjoy a bargain if you need one -- just not too much.


1. Sappy Saturday

2. Not-so-super Sunday

3. Maxed-out Monday

4. Take-it-all-back Tuesday

5. We-got-suckered Wednesday

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: How do Jets fans feel now, driving all that way to Jersey, getting stomped on AND missing Grandma's pumpkin pie? . . . Tax bill or utility bill? Where will they hide the cost of repairing our Sandy-ravaged grid? . . . How many LI "turkey trotters" are now asking themselves: Shouldn't I have run AFTER that gluttonous meal? . . . Should Latino-vote loser Mitt Romney have paid more attention to Suffolk County, where Steve Bellone's welcome mat has now replaced Steve Levy's cold shoulder? . . . Where did all the red crossbills suddenly come from? Bird watchers are giddy, Heckscher State Park to Jones Beach . . . With all the gross stuff Northport students leave in their lockers, how can a single Suffolk police dog possibly sniff a small bag of pot? . . . What does Rockefeller Center have over the Leg Lamp Lighting outside Northport Hardware? Not the Tigerettes Dance Team. Not beloved electrician Bob Cross in the pink bunny suit . . . Why stop with secret Nassau police records. What else can we chop into parade confetti? Ed Mangano's credit report? Steve Bellone's high school love letters? . . . What does Suffolk union boss Dan Farrell want his members to sit on? Wooden stools and milk crates?


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