Last year, Amazon started an early Black Friday in the first week of October, that stretched till Thanksgiving.
I couldn’t find any starking difference between the deals offered during the “pre”-sale and the Black Friday sale. No doubt, there were a few exciting deals for grabs but most of it was leftovers from the pre-sale period.
Black Friday now seems to be a modern marketing event where retailers are the ones who stand to benefit the most. For others, the day can be a waste of money, time, and energy.
I encourage you to skip Black Friday shopping this year.
#1. Black Friday Can Lead to Overspending
The average adult spent $430 in 2021 Black Friday Sales.
Do you have an extra $300-$500 in your budget?
If not, Black Friday shopping will cause you to dip into your emergency fund or put the additional spending on a credit card or resort to costly “Buy Now and Pay Later”.
43% of consumers as per the NRF survey don’t have enough money to buy gifts and other holiday items this year.
They are more likely to –
- dip into savings (40%),
- use credit card debt (32%),
- avail buy now, pay later (25%)
- selling investments (22%)
Marketers create a false sense of urgency- “that the “deals” will only be available on Black Friday” can lead to overspending.
What happens is – people spend money more rather than sticking to their plans.
Making a list of things you want a month before can help stop overspending. Wait till Black Friday to see whether you still need it.
Even if you do have an extra $300-$500 with you, you can very well put that money to work by paying off high-interest debt or investing in index funds.
#2. The “doorbusters” can be Misleading
Last year, I wanted to get a Nintendo Switch OLED model and a few Zelda games but resisted the $349 price tag for the switch.
On Black Friday, Target was offering the Nintendo Switch for $299 and $35 (list 59.99) each for Zelda games.
I was the 11th person in line and waited for two hours to get in. But still, the Nintendo Switch was sold out.
They had only 4 to offer- that’s what the store manager told me.
I felt bad. Some stores may “guarantee” stock, but not all.
Apart from that, I found that – the super-discounted electronic items aren’t exactly top quality.
Chances are that some off-brand manufacturers make these products specifically for Black Friday.
#3. Lines, Crowds and Rising Trend of Violence
Scenes of long lines, huge crowds, pushing & shoving are getting common and on the rise every year.
News report keeps pouring of a controlled store scene getting chaotic by fanatic shoppers.
Since 2006, the Black Friday Death Count website reported the death of at least 17 people and 125 injuries.
People wait outside in the cold just to save a few dollars. They trample each other for the “deal”. All this happens just after Thanksgiving.
Is the deal worth your life? That’s what people forget in enthusiasm.
#4. You Can get Scammed
Another set of people waits for Black Friday Shoppers – scammers, phishers, fraudsters, and hackers.
Yeah, that’s right – Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, Black Friday is ripe with scams, rip-offs, and spoofers looking to take advantage of shoppers.
As per security agency Aura – fraudsters attempt to steal your credit card numbers, bank account numbers, phone numbers, social media accounts, and email addresses. Largely to commit financial fraud and identity theft.
The type of scams that happen on Black Friday includes –
- Fake order scam – fraudster telling problem with an order that you never placed.
- Fake delivery notification scam – inviting link to accept delivery.
- Non-delivery scam – the order won’t get generated & no delivery takes place.
- Gift card scam – data stolen after you are lured to pay using a digital gift card or coupon.
- Fake Website & Charity scam – copycat websites and social media campaigns.
#5. Black Friday is Not Great for the Employees
Stores and shopping centers across America open as early as midnight for the Black Friday sale.
This may seem good for shoppers but think of employees – they are forced to work long hours and deal with unruly customers.
They have to clean up the sales section, tidy the fitting room, and put away misplaced items all day.
Instead of being able to spend quality time with their families, the store employees face fanatic customers yelling at them and the store manager.
#6. Support Local Businesses
Wait a day to shop local on Small Business Saturday instead of fighting for deals.
Started in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a way to encourage consumers to support local businesses instead of corporations for shopping.
According to American Express –
“67 cents out of every dollar spent at a small business in the United States go back into the local community”.
You can find traditional items, handpieces, savory baskets, embroidery, and unique gifts and you can feel good about your shopping, knowing that you’ve supported your community.
#7. Spend Your Time, Not Your Money
Several major chains open their doors as early as Thursday night. That means you have to leave your family, fight cold or maybe pay for a sitter to look at kids back home.
Thanksgiving just flies off…before you you could even spend some time with your loved ones.
Getting quality time with family and friends isn’t easy. Weigh it against the few dollars that you are going to spend.
Ultimately, it’s the people around you who make you happier. So why not spend quality time with them.
Additional shopping days like – Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Singles Day, and Giving Tuesday have come up.
If you really need something you can buy it at any time of the year. Why to break yourself in the Black Friday madness.
This is the period when you should be with family, enjoy the Thanks Giving and give yourself some rest.
If you still want to go shopping on Black Friday, then follow the points –
- Start with a Plan – Grab a pen and paper and write down what you really need. Do some research online to figure out which stores have the best deals.
Stick to your plan and buy things that are on your list no matter how attractive the deal is.
- Save your receipts – Make sure you check the return policy for all the stores you shop at. In the event the price for your item decreases, you will be able to make a price adjustment so that you are paying the lowest price.
Secondly, in case you change your mind or find a better deal, you will be able to return the items with no problems.
Many stores offer generous return policies for the holidays. For stores that don’t have return policies, skip them altogether.
- Try experiencing this Black Friday – I understand that many families turn Black Friday shopping into a family outing. You know, everyone wakes up at dawn in order to stand in line at popular retailers or to hit the outlet malls.
Although that may be a traditional outing in your family, there are plenty of other outings that your family can enjoy that don’t involve overspending.
A few outings that you can try as a family include a movie marathon, a cooking contest with leftovers, or even volunteering at a local shelter.