In my post yesterday welcoming November, I hinted I had some feelings about Black Friday. Yes, I do. And this morning I would like to share them with you in a rollicking post I’m calling “Angela’s Deep Thoughts Regarding Black Friday.”
To Shop or Not To Shop, That is the Question.
Let’s cut to the chase.
If you are truly a savvy shopper? You can scrap Black Friday altogether. You do not need to shop Black Friday to get the best deals.
You see, you can use the principle of “buy low and stock up” on other things besides food. In fact, if you’ve been following my site there’s a fair chance you’re winding down on your holiday shopping already. Consider just these few toy deals we’ve seen:
- Unadvertised Target Toy Sale (part un and part deux)
- Disney Princess Rebate Offer at Fred Meyer (about 75% off Tangled Dolls and a Castle)
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid Pre-order (50% off + Free shipping)
- Etc., etc., etc.
To sum it up, you don’t need to shop Black Friday.
Fake Black Friday Sales and Other Tomfoolery
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: retailers trying to drum up the Black Friday Madness Spirit on days that are clearly not the day after Thanksgiving. I suspect this has a whole lot to do with the recession. But guess what? If every day is my birthday, who cares when it really is my birthday?
I hate, loathe in fact, these phony Black Friday sales. What am I referring to you ask?
- Target’s Black Friday in July sales
- Last year, Sears insisted every Friday was Black Friday in November
- Any sale which uses the term “Black Friday” and does not fall on November 25th
While retailers may think shoppers enjoy this, I suspect it rather exhausts them and dilutes the effectiveness. Call it a sale, call it a hot sale, but please, don’t call it Black Friday unless it’s November 25th!
The Psychology of Black Friday
Let’s consider for a moment the psychology of the day, shall we?
No one is a window shopper on Black Friday. I mean, really – you think you’re going to wake up at 3 am so you can price compare at several stores, get the best deal? Oh HECK NO. You are going to buy, and buy you shall, baby.
So what happens when you get to the store to find the $15 puffer vest you woke up for at 3 am and stood in a line the length of the Mississippi to buy turns up sold out? I’ll tell you what will happen. You’ll need to buy something else. You cannot return home empty handed! And that’s when you realize while the $15 puffer vests are gone, the $40 puffer vests remain aplenty. And you’re walking around in a stupor because you really should be sleeping and you’ve not had a drop of coffee and before you know it you find yourself thinking incoherently “40 isn’t such a bad deal, let’s take 7″.
And then somewhere between noon and 3pm when you come to, you’ll realize you’ve spent almost $300 on puffer vests.
I prefer Amazon
In 2009, I decided that I would try to personally compile as many Black Friday deals and ads as possible. This was a fool’s errand. Not only did I realize halfway through that I was spending precious time away from my family on a major holiday, I also realized that Amazon was changing prices in real time, besting big box stores doorbuster specials by the hour, and offering free shipping to boot.
It was an “aha” moment.
If some do-gadget I really want is $10 at Kmart on Black Friday (and there are only 20 of them in the store and the 50 other people in line likely want said do-gadget), why on earth would I not just buy the do-gadget on Amazon for $8 and enjoy free shipping? Help me out, people.
But, Angela. What about Traditions?
So this is the part when I retract everything I just said in the spirit of “tradition.”
OK, well not everything I said, but just some of it.
Listen, I completely and totally get that some of you have traditions when it comes to this day. You get up with your friends or family, and sing Christmas songs all the way to JC Penney’s.
Hey, I am not about to spoil your fun. In fact, this is one of the reasons I’m still going to be teaming up with other bloggers to find some deals for you. It’s also why I will be sharing Fred Meyer’s Black Friday, which by the way, is my personal pick for “nicest store to shop at on Black Friday.”
To sum up this post, I think that Black Friday is a way for stores to snooker you into spending more money than you need to and you could do alright by staying at home at shopping on Amazon.
But if you’re planning on shopping Black Friday in the name of tradition? Remember that a wise elf once said: “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.”