Black Friday is the perfect “pre-Christmas” holiday. I recently became a Black Friday participant and I have no regrets. While this holiday can be quite a crazy day (and night), it is worth it for the money you can save on holiday presents. For some, this is the most important thing. The holidays can be a hard time, especially for students. While I would love to get my family and friends gifts, being in college can make that quite difficult because as a full time student with no job, who’s also paying for college expenses and transportation, extra money for things like Christmas presents can come up short. So, I do participate in Black Friday, but I also do a little “pre-research” beforehand.
It is good to know what kind of deals are being offered on Black Friday. If no big ticket items on your list have a substantial mark down, then maybe this day is not for you. But I think Black Friday being both an online and in-store holiday is beneficial. In some cases, people don’t have means of transportation or a parent can’t find a babysitter. With online shopping also providing deals, the whole holiday becomes more accessible. Some items may even be an online only item. Regardless, I think both options should remain available.
The main concern I have with Black Friday is the time shifts some workers have. Some stores have people who may work all day Thanksgiving and through the night to prepare for Black Friday shoppers. This can result in long hours and time taken away that could be spent with your family. But some workers need something like the “Black Friday” shift because many receive extra pay for the daunting task. However, I think more can be done in compensating workers who decide to work this shift, whether this is in regards to pay or time to spend with their family. All in all, Black Friday can be a fun experience if you plan correctly. Going in blind may leave a person overwhelmed, but if you look into what the store’s will be offering and have a couple gifts in mind, the day will go a lot smoother.
By Rachel Johnson
Black Friday can be a lot of fun, but it can also be shallow and dangerous. Growing up, my family never went out shopping on Black Friday. My mom went out for specific things sometimes, but for the most part we tried to avoid stores and malls at all costs on that day. Thanksgiving was a very meaningful holiday to us because we got to have quality family time together, so we didn’t want going out on Black Friday to ruin that. The stores are so hectic and packed with greedy people trying to buy things that it just isn’t fun to my family. It can also be dangerous if stores become overcrowded, people fight over items or stampedes form when doors are opened. That is where I draw the line. If Black Friday is bringing people to violence, then that means there is something wrong with it.
It’s very ironic to me that the day after the day we are meant to take time to be thankful for what we have, we go out and buy a ton more stuff. The advertising and marketing that goes into Black Friday nowadays is so flashy and excessive that it can sometimes feel like it’s considered to be the more important holiday of that week, which is completely backwards and frankly kind of sad.
I recognize that it can actually be very helpful to people, especially to families buying Christmas presents who maybe don’t have much money to spend, and I love that they are given that opportunity. And I understand the appeal (who doesn’t love a good sale?), but it encourages materialism and could easily undermine Thanksgiving for someone if they aren’t careful. They could become so focused on buying things that they forget to appreciate what they have, especially the people they have in their life. I think it would be great if Black Friday could be an online-only shopping holiday, that way people could still get their deals, and no one has to get injured or leave their family at home.
By Erin Sakalis
Black Friday can be a wonderful opportunity if approached with caution. Flash sales surrounding the winter holidays are meant to tempt consumers who want to mitigate the costs of their holiday expenditures. While gift shopping is the bait, the retailer’s goal is to lure you to buy additional items you wouldn’t have otherwise. At first glance, it may not seem worth it to participate, but fortunately there’s a way to harness the deals to your advantage.
The most important step is to have a game plan. Whether you’re shopping online or in a brick-and-mortar store, know exactly what items you intend to purchase. Use Black Friday as an occasion to buy holiday gifts, wardrobe staples and perhaps longer-term investments like electronics or appliances. If you need a new winter coat, try to get it on sale. If you’ve been tempted to purchase a more indulgent item like a cosmetic or video game for a long time, snag it while it’s discounted. If you were going to buy something anyway, it’s fair game.
Black Friday gets dangerous when you buy things because they’re on sale. A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t be willing to pay full price for the item, don’t buy it on sale. I would also recommend shopping online in order to prevent impulse buys. While this may seem counterintuitive, the havoc of swimming through crowds at the mall may cloud your judgment and compel you to run to the checkout so you can move on. Plus, online shopping allows you to compare prices across sites, reference reviews, and verify the legitimacy of markdowns. In addition to a more serene experience, online shopping provides the opportunity to better consider your purchases before you check out.
By taking a strategic approach this Black Friday, you can stay on budget, reduce waste and make informed shopping decisions. And of course, you won’t have to miss out on the fun!