First Person: Consumers Can Control Black Friday

Yahoo Contributor Network

Stores open up earlier and earlier every year as consumers get ready for Black Friday. Honestly, I am not really sure why we even have this shopping holiday. It is almost like movie premiers. It used to be that a blockbuster opened on a Friday. Nowadays, the "weekend" starts with a midnight showing on Wednesday. To combat this shopping obsession, consumers are fighting back. Or at least, they are doing something that makes it look like they are fighting back. Something tells me that consumers and employees of retailers will always be overmatched. After all, people love a good deal.

Petitions

To deal with the Black Friday phenomenon, some groups have resorted to petitions. There are several petitions that are targeted at retailers, as employees and consumers are asking stores not to open up on Thanksgiving night. I can understand employees petitioning their stores, but consumers? Here is a thought. If you don't want a store to be open, don't go. No one is making you go shopping on Thanksgiving night. What is the problem with this strategy? Shoppers can't help themselves. People are so afraid that they will miss out on a "good deal" that they will wolf down the turkey and head out to the store. I have a bit more behavioral control than that.

Good deals?

Part of the problem is the "deals." Are consumers really getting fantastic bargains when they head out on Thanksgiving night or early on Black Friday morning? When you look beneath the surface at some of these alleged bargains, you start to realize that there is more than meets the eye. Some products are built specifically for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and they are constructed with lower-quality parts. Also, when you look at some of the featured items you start to realize that the discounts aren't all that impressive. If anything, some stores will create combination packages that look more impressive but actually do not save the consumer much money.

I will not be deceived

Where will I be on Black Friday? Safety at home. Sure, I might look at a few sites and see if there are some "amazing" deals that represent life-altering savings. However, I will not join the masses and hurl myself into the commercial abyss of holiday shopping. In order to ascertain the actual savings of some of these products, I will check them ahead of time to see if they are actually discounted on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I refuse to be enticed by graphics and other visual cues that suggest to me that I am about to save an incredible of money.

For me, there is nothing particularly special about Black Friday.

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