I was just perusing some Black Friday ads, and far more than when the holiday sales started hitting November 1 (as soon as Halloween was over), it really struck me that Black Friday is dead. I’ll still go shopping on Black Friday (in my ‘jamas aka online – I stopped shopping brick & mortar retail stores on the day after Thanksgiving a few years ago), but will the bulk of my purchases for holiday (and otherwise*) be on that day? No way!
Why Is Black Friday Dead?
- We just started shopping earlier! To be honest, I was totally in the mood for holiday shopping as soon as Halloween was over!
- Thanksgiving is really late! That means less days to shop between Thanksgiving & Christmas, prompting retailers to move holiday sales earlier. And once one company does it, everyone has to… because dollars are finite! At least mine are! If they get spent earlier, that means stores just can’t compete for them later.
- The deals really aren’t that great. Um, I’m not feeling the WOW! Either on price or on items. Sure a few people will get some great TV deals, but there’s nothing I’m interested in buying.
- Between gas & hassle, do you do any better than Amazon? Maybe, maybe not. I sure do like my free Amazon movies after my typical Amazon lightning deals shopping binge. This may be a bit different for states where you have to pay tax on Amazon purchases (still wouldn’t get me to the store, but I can see where it would make a big difference!).
And maybe my #1 reason that Black Friday is dead…
How many mini slow-cookers can one buy? Really, the stuff this year is the same as last year and the year before that. I’m so bored by it all! Do you feel me? Yes, most of the things that we buy and that I link to on here are mass-market and mass-produced in some way. (I do try to mix in Etsy, handmade, and fair trade items too but I totally recognize that this doesn’t represent the lion’s share of what I post).
The truth is that the variety of items available online will always outmatch brick & mortar Black Friday and the ability of online shops to feature and discount different items over multiple weeks really gets me going! Legos one week & Disney the next week? Great. Then I don’t have to worry about shopping for everything all at once and I can do it from different stores.
Yes, I do know that the availability of super cheap items allows many families to fill the space under the tree, and I’m happy about that, but I myself am not particularly interested in buying the stuff at some of the big box stores – seems like it all pills, breaks, wears, and otherwise just goes bad pretty darn quickly. I’m fortunate to have the option to shop for other things (I didn’t always!) and that’s what I choose to do. I’m thinking mostly here of the items that are made dirt cheap just for Black Friday sales. My son’s favorite doll was a made for just Black Friday purchase and it still bothers me that I let him get attached to such a cheap thing because boys generally only really get attached to one or two dolls and I would have loved for it to be higher quality! My MANLY MAN cousin still has his Cabbage Patch Kid and refuses to pass it down!
All this ignores the whole Black Friday on Thanksgiving debacle. It doesn’t bug me too much…except for all the people who have to work when they wanted to stay home with family (which is to say that it totally drives me up the wall!). Could you imagine having to work on Christmas? I hope that never happens! Retail workers have so little control over their work hours, my heart totally goes out to them. Our family is a Thanksgiving dinner at noon family, so we’re on to leftovers by 5pm after a brisk walk and picking the turkey after that. I usually get in a quick nap before midnight when I get up to snag some online Black Friday deals (my color laser printer from Office Max is one of my biggest prizes!).
- Don’t hold out. If something is an amazing deal in the next week, that might be as good as it gets. Remember Black Friday is late. The best deals will probably be in the first ten days of December. Unless it’s Amazon, most retailers just can’t promise that they can deliver by Christmas after that.
- If you don’t want to shop on Thanksgiving, don’t. Enough said, right? There will be another deal on another day at another store.
- Shop the deals every day. Basically, it’s Black Friday all month long. Retailers started deep discounts on November 1, and you should start your holiday shopping now, if you haven’t already, especially if you’re looking for more unique products. My daily holiday posts often have the best special sales of the day (retailers are doing 30% off one or two day sales), gifts with purchase, etc. Look at the bottom of every post for the latest gift guides and special deals.
- Sometimes the in-store deals are better, but they’re often not worth it. I’d rather pick out what I like and have it sent straight to me (or my recipient!). It’s certainly not worth standing in line to me to find out my item is sold out, and well, I pretty much avoid retail from Black Friday to January 1. It’s too crazy and stressful!
What are your thoughts about Black Friday? Shopping on Thanksgiving? I wanna know! Will you be shopping the stores? What are your picks? If you’re shopping online, what are you shopping for? Are you ok with Black Friday being dead? Do you disagree?
* I often shop for the rest of the year during holiday sales! Sometimes there are even great food bargains – one year I got 2 cases of organic pumpkin on Amazon for less than a dollar a can!