Do you know what year it is? I mean really?! I’m not referring to the fact that is 2013 – or even that we’re just a short month away from 2014. Even stating the “21st” century is not enough. It is the age and year in which you can do everything you need to do without stepping foot out of your door. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your bed and the most work involved is a touch of your finger on a handheld device.
This is not me, btw – but a pic from gigaom.com
You probably have at least one of these – you know, a smart phone, tablet, even a laptop…although the laptop is becoming quickly obsolete.
What that means is that the face of Black Friday is changing – quite dramatically actually. Although we have been huge Black Friday shoppers for many years, for the past three years we’ve done it all at home and online. Each year, it is getting easier and easier and we can shop earlier and earlier than the store sales and then go on our merry way.
So as you probably imagine, we are going to share now why you may not even bother going out for Black Friday (you know – the theme of this post). But we are also going to be a bit bi-polar on you and tell you 10 reasons why you should hate Black Friday. It really is a love/hate kinda day!
As you’ve probably come to realize if you’ve read our site for long, I am normally the pessimistic one in our home; thankfully in this modern day and age, technology has really saved my day. Cassie likes to go out and thrives in the midst of the throngs of angry and competitive shoppers – for whatever reason that I don’t understand! On this issue, I find her quite crazy, but she says she mostly enjoys the crowds and the atmosphere of it all. Whatever! There have been many early, early Black Friday mornings where we stood together in line with her showing off a big wide smile on her face and greeting everyone and waiting for the “run of the deal bulls” while I’m there shivering, muttering complaints and glaring at anyone that thought they were gonna beat me. Yes, on Black Friday, Cassie and I did not go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sure, most of the other times we do, but not that day.
Yes, we have been out on Black Friday numerous times. But for me, they have usually been painful memories. Why? Let me count thy ways:
- I am a skeptic at heart – I’m skeptical about most everything (including Black Friday) unless something changes my view
- I hate the cold and live in N. Utah – home of the 2002 WINTER Games (no matter the number of layers you are still freezing!)
- We lived in Southeast Idaho prior to that where the temperatures were even that much colder
- I love my sleep – especially the day after a holiday in which we stayed up too late!
- Crowds frustrate and overwhelm me
- I think making buying decisions based on “hype” and “emotion” can be a detriment to our budget – only a well planned Black Friday shopping day can be useful to any budget (and a very well disciplined one at that)
- All-in-all – I end the day grouchy, tired and often end up sick from the combined cold with the multitude of germs circulating in over-packed stores
So, for several years, Cassie and I would research, read reviews, budget, plan and scope out the deals for the items we needed. Then the time would come to figure out where to get the lowest price. Cassie would pull out her ads and we would strategize and plan where we should go. We have been there and done that – we have frenzied and lived the excitement! But, over the last few years I think I have finally converted Cassie to a slightly different approach.
The last few years we have been able to score the same or better deals from the comfort of our own home with on our trusty computer and then our smart phones/tablets. And better yet we didn’t freeze, get sick, or wait in lines for hours (literally I remember one year that Cas waited in line for hours at Toys R Us – both to get in the store and then to check out). Problem solved!
So there is light at the end of the tunnel for you non-Black Friday deal seekers! Why? Well its time to do some more counting (I am overly analytical if you can’t tell).
- In this day and age, many more retailers are realizing the online shopping market is growing by leaps and bounds and becoming the preferred norm for many households.
- As such, the online deals are very competitive because there are more options for consumers.
- Each year more of the larger retailers are offering their Black Friday deals from their ads online too – often times with FREE shipping.
- Online shopping could often yield more savings than actually going in-store. Why? There are often a numerous assortment of online codes from percent off to free shipping and more. Many retailers will often allow you to “stack” coupon codes that will bring more savings. In addition, there are even other numerous ways to save online.
- You can still experience the thrill of getting that great deal and of all your research paying off!
- You can shop in your PJs, avoid the crowds, avoid the cold, avoid higher risk of getting sick, be less cranky, less tired, less irritable and…those items come right to you! What could be better?!
Often times we have gotten a better deal or the same deal – sometimes we have paid only a little more. The times we have paid a little more it has not been more 10% additional cost than the in-store Black Friday cost – but the hours and sacrifice saved from purchasing this item online rather than in the store was definitely worth more than the difference. However, even the times we have spent more is becoming more of the exception as time marches on – online shopping has additional discounts that in-store shopping cannot match!
Now I know for some that going out on Black Friday is such a thrill and is so exciting that even if the deal could be found online you might still want to go out and have the “Black Friday experience”. I totally get that because I am married to one of those! So my hat is off to you while I drink my warm cup of coffee in front of my warm computer or device while I score the deals in minutes!
With that being said, we will be posting many of the online deals we see as well as our all time favorite Black Friday stores (and no, it’s not Walmart).
So now that this lovely season has gotten me in my pessimistic mood, how about a little more pessimistic fun My top 10 reasons to HATE Black Friday!
Let’s not delay: here’s our countdown from #10 down to #1
#10 – Everyone becomes rude, cranky and feisty. Would you ever willingly place yourself in an overcrowded, overheated building with little walking space with a bunch of people on a mission, with no sleep and after big dinner tummies? Well, does that sound like your kind of fun to kick off the holiday season? Black Friday seems to bring out the best in overheated, tired, stuffed and deal hungry people. Now not everyone is that way, but even if just a few are – it really ruins it!
#9 – After you foolishly decide to deal with #10, you are not guaranteed that you will leave with the treasures you seek! In fact, you might need to become what you don’t like in #10 to have a better chance of getting it!
#8 -The terribly long lines and line cutters. Come on…. you know that makes you mad when others do it in front of you…so why do it with your shopping buddies to someone else?
#7 – Aren’t you worth it? What we mean by that is what is your time worth? After a few years of getting out there in he middle of night standing in a freezing line outside for hours, to then stand in a super hot line for hours inside, to not get the items we wanted, to have bought and spent more than we planned, to ruin the day, waste a whole day and then just to find out a week later we could have gotten the same or similar deal or find out we could have just stayed home and gotten it online instead makes me realize it was a huge waste of my valuable time (time is money) when I could have used that time to either do something more frugal for my family, make some extra money by spending time on one of our businesses, or just enjoy it.
#6 – What did that item REALLY cost you? When you factor in your time of a whole day wasted, the cost of that coffee while in line, the cost of a babysitter or other expenses…. was that extra $10-$20 savings really worth it?
#5 – Where’s the Thanksgiving in the materialism? What we are saying is that one of the biggest annoyances we have towards Black Friday in recent years are the stupid and ridiculous opening times of the stores. Besides the other 9 reasons, this is one reason we are boycotting shopping in the stores for the Black Friday sales – most of them are now occurring on Thanksgiving!! PLEASE retailers, it was already ridiculous that we spent a day with family and friends being thankful and counting our blessings just to wake up super early the next morning and dive into materialism. NOW, we are not even thankful for one day, but are forced to forget Thanksgiving. WE DON’T WANT TO SEE THANKSGIVING GO EXTINCT ALL IN THE NAME OF RETAILERS DESIRING TO BE IN THE BLACK EVEN EARLIER!
#4 – Oh so tempting! That is….all of those deals are so tempting. We have to say that no matter how much self control you have, no matter how well you plan out the day, no matter what you have written down on the “only get these things” list especially when you are on a budget does the overwhelming experience, signs, crowds and the sense of urgency to “get in on that deal” tempt you to get more than you planned? Well, from our personal experience as well as many testimonies, that it exactly what happens. Black Friday is one of the highest days of buyer’s remorse. AND you have to watch those return policies with Black Friday purchases too (Alex just hear a news story yesterday that retailers are making it even more difficult this holiday season to return purchased items)! Just avoid the remorse as you went in to save an additional $20 on the big ticket item to walk out with way more than you bargained for.
#3 – Take on that debt, don’t worry, it will be worth-it! This is a BIG one for us. Whether you have read our site for a long time or are a new reader, we know this one all too well. Our first few Black Friday’s and Christmas seasons when we were first married were big contributors to our $100K debt load. Two big things happen: 1) You don’t have enough money saved or set aside and you justify the purchases with buying on credit as it is such a good deal and you can pay for it later. If you do this…you are not getting a deal… 2) Also, with all of those store credit card offers and the additional discounts and savings you will get buy applying for and using a store credit card is going to cause heart-ache. First off, getting many credit cards affects your credit negatively no matter how good you are at paying them off. Second off, store credit cards do not build your credit and have high interest rates. Thirdly, similar to what happened to us, we were getting credit so quickly and we figured that as long as we were approved that that lenders thought we could pay it no problem, otherwise they wouldn’t give it to us. This is a false idea. It takes a month or more for your credit to catch up with you. You might think your fine until those bills start rolling in all at the same time….. PLEASE… learn from us and DO NOT go into debt! It is NOT a deal!
#2 – It is no lie that the super deals are the big electronics on Black Friday. There are also deals on literally everything. Well, the things that are the “door busters” and the rock bottom deals are, in most all cases, the bottom of the line low-quality items. Not only have we heard this over the years from many sources, but we have personal experience with it as well. Several years ago when DVD players first came out, we bought one on Black Friday. It lasted 3-months. We went through 2-3 DVD players before we finally invested in a higher quality one (and you can find great deals on those too!) and guess what? That DVD player is still the only DVD player in-use in our home today. We bought that one over 10 years ago, before we had kids. It has been through 10 years and 5 kids abusing the machine and it still works fine. Also, we had the same experience with digital camcorders! Everything that we have bought on Black Friday that you think is worth going after is probably the lowest of the line. You may pay a lot less than the higher quality higher price counter-part, but you will pay for it later when you have to replace it much earlier. Also, as a non-electronic purchase – have you ever bought those really cheap PJ’s at Walmart on Black Friday? Well, we have and the first year after I opened the package I was shocked at how pathetic the quality was. They barely lasted a season after breaking down terribly from wear and washing! Just be aware of this – research before you go and read reviews! Not only do we not want you to experience #10 – #3, but we also don’t want you to get a bad item!
#1 – I also hate Black Friday because of all of those who have to sacrifice their Thanksgiving holiday to deal with the people in #10 and miss out on the deals themselves, miss time with their family and probably have the worst work day of the year. How sad that it is that they have to sacrifice all of this for us to save a buck on junk! And for those of you who are working these Black Friday sales – THANK YOU!
We would love to hear from you. Do you enjoy and thrive off the frenzy and just love Black Friday? Or will you be more like us now and enjoy getting the deals online while leaving that frenzy for others? Leave a comment and share with us!
Now, I am not opposed to the deals (in case you read any of the above wrong) just many other aspects of it. So don’t forget to check out these resources to help you save this year:
Photo Credits: writeissideways.com, Mashable.com, 101greatgoals.com, gigaom.com