COMMENTARY | I find Black Friday to be extremely overrated. Sure, there is some small amount of entertainment that can be derived from watching footage of people camped outside at 4 AM. Of course, that type of footage could also be described as sad. It isn't like these people are waiting in line for gas after a hurricane or hoping to receive the last loaf of bread in the city. They are looking for cheap TVs, microwaves and other "door buster" deals. Unfortunately, consumers have actually broken a few doors in the past. On Black Friday, I will most certainly be staying home. There is no point in going out to join the mayhem.
Pressure to shop
Why is there so much pressure to shop? Do I have to acquire more merchandise? Don't I have enough already? Obviously I need to do some Christmas shopping and perhaps I have been waiting to buy an item until it goes on sale. In addition, I understand that we have built our American economy around the consumption of many items that we probably do not need. However, do we have to name every special shopping day? First there was Black Friday. Then there was Cyber Monday. Now there is Small Business Saturday. What is next? Splurge Sunday? Thrift Store Thursday? Wild Spending Wednesday? I am sure some people feel compelled to hit the mall on Black Friday, but I am going to resist that pressure. If you enjoy traffic, lines and chaos, be my guest. I will be at home.
Skipping the lines
What do the malls and superstores have to offer me that I cannot get from the comfort of my laptop at home? Sure, I miss out on the thrill of the hunt, but I get to enjoy similar prices, free shipping, and food from my own refrigerator. I do not have to brave the parking lot, eat in the food court, or wonder if a particular price is really the best deal. If anything, I believe that I may actually get a better deal by shopping online because I can truly shop around and compare different prices.
Patience and research
Buying non-essential goods is all about patience and research. If I were to go to a store on Black Friday and discover an item that is 50%, would I know what the price was last week? I will acknowledge that there may be certain items on Black Friday that are good deals. However, I also know that companies will have certain merchandise built specifically for Black Friday. If I am planning on buying something on Black Friday, I am going to research that item in advance in order to ascertain that it is actually a good deal.
This is America, and retailers want to move product. But there will be other days that also have "great" deals.
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