Whew – hate is such a strong word! But that is how we feel towards Black Friday. By us making that statement, it almost seems like we are NOT The Thrifty Couple as we don’t want to go out there and try to get the best deals?? What’s wrong with us??
Well, first off, we have done Black Friday shopping for many years – and the best of the Black Friday shopping were those years that we were piling up that $100K of debt, not when we were working our way out.
So we do want to share 10 reasons why Alex and Cassie – The Thrifty Couple – hate Black Friday. And then at the end of our countdown rant… we will share some postive aspects to it too 🙂 So don’t worry, its not all bad!
So 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 – We 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!
So now with all of that…. there are some good things…..
- You can get the same deals online at the merchant’s website and often save more by using online coupons codes. Just search our online coupon code database to find those additional discounts. But even if there weren’t additional savings from a coupon code, and let’s say you had to pay shipping – it is still more than worth it to not have to deal with the 10 reasons above.
- Never think that this is the only time you can get deals, in fact, in this day and age – Black Friday prices are really not that exciting. Year after year we see the same, similar or better deals at other times during the Christmas shopping season both in-store and especially online.
- Don’t’ forget Cyber Monday. Even though we would say that this event is becoming more and more extinct as it is really “cyber month” before Christmas.
And finally…. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, let’s not let it go extinct by flooding stores on Thanksgiving day – it really is irritating that retailers are doing this. We saw this coming for a long – that is..stores opening earlier and earlier each year. We knew that it would take over Thanksgiving one day, but it doesn’t’ need to. We love Thanksgiving and it is such a special time for our family that we hate to see materialism step on it’s toes.
You may or may not agree with us, but this is our opinion and our story and we are sticking to it! 🙂