So You Save Some Money on Black Friday, But Is It Worth It?
As time passes, many decry the monetization of many of our precious holidays. On the other hand, Black Friday has always unabashedly been about spending money on things. The day, which falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, is renowned for the deals retailers offer on customers looking for cheap deals on holiday gifts. But with the Internet becoming a larger factor in people’s shopping happens, along with the general unpleasantness of the day, is Black Friday really worth the hassle anymore? Here are some factors to consider.
Black Friday vs. Other Sales
We all know Black Friday for being a day packed with savings, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be getting a better deal than you would at another time. It all depends on what you’re purchasing. While this is probably your day to save big on a television, other products are better bought on other sales-related days, like Labor Day. Further, the growing popularity of Cyber Monday means retailers will probably continue to stretch their deals for longer than just one day.
Remember that when you’re shopping around, you don’t necessarily need to buy something new. Buying something gently used can often net you the same savings you’d find at a Black Friday event or something similar. Plus, buying used is good for the environment, and your money goes to help an individual rather than a big company. So, before you head out to the big-box supermarket, take a look online or ask around to see if anyone has what you’re looking for.
Black Friday might be all about low prices, but there are some things you can’t put a price on.
If you’re going to spend the day shopping in person, you’ll probably have to deal with some crowds. You might’ve seen the chaos and fights that break out in some stores each year. While that probably won’t happen wherever you’re going, you might still have to deal with some unpleasantness that you wouldn’t find on any other day.
Also, what about the poor retail workers who have to show up on Black Friday? Put yourself in their shoes, or do a little reading online to see what kinds of horror stories they have to put up with on this day. While you might come out ahead with a cheap flat-screen TV, is it at the expense of workers who feel like they aren’t being paid their worth? The ethics of Black Friday seems to become more of an issue each year, and it might be something you want to think about before heading out to shop.
Do You Really Need That Thing?
One of the most important things to remember on Black Friday, and any other day for that matter, is that you’re not saving money if you’re spending it on something you won’t use. Don’t forget that the retailers want you to spend money on things, and the products they advertise might look more attractive than they really are.
Now, all this isn’t to say that Black Friday isn’t all-in-all a bad thing. Ideally, you’ll find a product that makes you happy, at a cheaper price than you’ve found elsewhere. As long as you’re a smart shopper and you do a little research before you drop the big bucks, you can consider your Black Friday shopping a success.