Black Friday is Dead and I’m Okay With It!

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black friday is deadI 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).

Do you need to buy this again? Probably not.
Do you need to buy this again? Probably not.

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!).

My Thoughts

  • 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!

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  • Suzanne S
    11.14.13

    To me it’s almost not worth getting out in the crowds. As my boys have gotten older most of the things they want are not on sale then anyway. I will probably hit CVS – they usually have really good Extra Buck deals!

    • Brandy
      11.14.13

      You’re totally right! I do usually do the CVS, but I’d forgotten about them – I live in a metropolitan area without a car and it’s a little too brisk of a walk with the kids to our CVS for those deals. You can usually do them on Thursday, right?

  • glennerallyspeaking
    11.14.13

    I liked Black Friday shopping a lot better when I was a kid and I would go with my mom. We were in it for the free stuff the stores gave out, and we always found a few good deals and we were home by 9AM. Nothing too crazy, and it was a fun activity to do together.

    Nowadays I feel like if I went with a list that I would leave disappointed. Stores don’t necessarily have a lot of the things on sale, so you could easily miss out even if you waited in line to get inside. And I am not getting trampled just for a TV or a video game!

  • Shannon
    11.14.13

    My best friend is SO into Black Friday shopping. She gets really wound up about it and stays out all night. But she doesn’t shop online much. And I think that’s the difference. I mean she has fun and that’s great, but I don’t think the deals are as AMAZING as they are rumored to be. Plus the sales generally go through Saturday anyways. I do most of my shopping online and will probably venture out to Macy’s and JCP late Friday afternoon when everyone goes home. I just don’t think the deals are all that great anymore to necessitate staying out all night and standing in huge lines.

    • Brandy
      11.14.13

      yeah the mall is DEADER THAN DEAD on the day after right?? i think amazing deals can be had any day of the year and if you want something specific usually it can be had just by waiting. i guess it depends on what kind of shopper you are too. i’m a stockpiler and shop year round for my gift closet!

  • jvergin
    11.13.13

    I wouldn’t mind getting an insane deal on an iPad mini or iPad Air, however, the chances of me waiting in line or going to the store on THANKSGIVING is not happening!!!!!

    • Brandy
      11.13.13

      are the new ipad minis out? i got mine for my birthday, i pretty much only use it when the kids are in bed. to be honest i really wanted it for facetime for the kids & dad, and that was a GREAT birthday present. but i’d totally take one for myself too. 🙂

      • jvergin
        11.13.13

        Oh I don’t want the new retina one. I just want the $299 for WB in the car. I think they are offering like $75 or $100 gift cards with purchase? Something like that? It doesn’t matter since I will not be waiting in line.

        • Brandy
          11.13.13

          after the tax the gift card is more like 75 or 80, so maybe you’ll find some wild online deal. just put up a camelcamelcamel alert on amazon price drops. why people wait in line to pay tax on expensive & easily shipped electronics is beyond me.i wouldn’t wait in line for a tv either. costco has slamdunk deals any day of the week. the ONE black friday item that i wanted last year (a roku, the middle grade one, for bestie) was on amazon for the same price, no shipping.

        • Brandy
          11.13.13

          and i *would* have popped over to best buy to get the roku if i didn’t find another deal online because it’s literally a one minute walk from my place. it’s right across the street!!