I will be at home on Black Friday, spending some well earned time off with my family. I’m well aware of the “deals” that will be out there, and there will surely be big savings on some items. But I can’t look forward to spending hours in line or dealing with the masses so I can save a few bucks on some electronics or seasonal gifts.
The Frenzy that is Black Friday
I’m all about saving money. I do my research on major purchases – compare item specs, read product reviews, visit comparison sites, clip coupons, and use a cash back credit card to save an extra percentage point or two (and pay it in full the next month).
But Black Friday Deals exist for one reason alone – to get people into the stores. From there, the marketers know that the frenzy of the season and competition of other shoppers will spur people to grab items and not set them back down for fear they won’t be able to find another deal just as good as the one they have in their hands. There is also the sunk cost mentality of the day. Many people who spend hours in line and fight the crowds won’t be willing to admit they don’t need anything and leave the store empty handed.
Why I will be home on Black Friday
For me, the holidays are about catching up with my rest and spend some quality time with my family. Black Friday is no different. These are the reasons I will be at home this Friday, spending time with my loved ones.
Time. Many people camp overnight to be near the front of the line when the stores open on Friday. Sure, some people make it a family event, but that’s not my idea of quality family time. Add in the time waiting in lines, and pushing through the crowds to find some deals and you can waste half a day visiting two stores.
Crowds. Something about saving money brings out the worst in some people. The mob mentality kicks in and some people go on the offensive, pushing, pulling, grabbing, etc. The unthinkable happened last year and a seasonal worker at Wal-Mart was trampled to death, all in the name of saving a few bucks. Now I’m not worried about being trampled to death, I can always move to the back of the line and avoid the throngs. But I prefer shopping without being pushed about, bumped into, etc.
Limited quantities. Almost every store flier for Black Friday lists “limited quantities” in the fine print under the most popular products or the steepest price discounts. The limits are often as low as one or two per store, so unless you are one of the first few people in line and are willing to run through the store to find that product, you aren’t going to get it. Most stores don’t offer rain checks either, so if you miss out, your time was wasted. You can read more about this at CNN.
The “non-deal” specials. Many stores advertise basement bottom prices on select items and use those deals to get people in the door where you may find many items that aren’t discounted at all. If you go out on Black Friday, make sure you know the regular sale prices as well as the Black Friday specials. Sometimes they aren’t that different.
If you go…
I’m not planning on venturing out on Black Friday, but if you plan on going out, then be prepared and have a plan. Here is a recent article about Shopping Responsibly on Black Friday with some more helpful links at the end. Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.
What are you doing Black Friday?