Disclaimer: I know how people love to read the title of an article and think they know what the article is about :). I’m hoping those people at least read this disclaimer before commenting. I’m not bashing or defending Black Friday. I think to each its own if you choose to participate in it. I personally don’t plan on attending any sales event on Thanksgiving day, as someone who has lost family holiday time to a retail job with mandatory black Friday work hours. I think we can at least let them have Thanksgiving off but that’s neither here or there. This post is just the reasons why I think in the computer age people still rush to stores each year on Black Friday.
I worked in a department store for 3 years and each year we opened earlier and earlier. My last year on the employee end of the battle field I had to be at work at 3:45a.m. to open at 4:00 a.m.
Needless to say I didn’t have a very traditional Thanksgiving. I had a friend come over I baked a chicken, we had a few beers and I was in bed by 9p.m.
Each year this event has gotten more and more intense. Stores opening as early as Thanksgiving night or Black Friday Eve, depending on who you ask.
We’ve come a long way since the term Black Friday was coined in the 60s, brick and mortar stores and catalog shopping aren’t our only option.
I normally order everything but groceries and clothes online because it’s usually cheaper.
So if we can reach thousands of retailers online why do we put ourselves through the hell of Black Friday? Why do we wake up ass early before the turkey has even digested and the sun is still in bed to drive to overcrowded parking lot and fight for “deals”?
If technology has had one negative effect it’s the expectation of instant gratification. If I purchase a 50 inch flat screen on black Friday I don’t want to wait for it to be shipped to my house. OH NO! I want to wheel it out to my car and set it up that night.
While online retail often offers a lower price, a lot of shoppers would rather pay slightly more to have their purchase immediately.
We need to see it to believe it
If you’re anything like me you don’t like ordering clothes online. I have curves and a size 6 in one brand might be a size 4 or 8 in another. I don’t want to order clothes online because I’m going to be super annoyed if after waiting for it to arrive it doesn’t fit correctly!
People like to see what they are buying and feel it. Make sure the product matches the picture.
Because we like feeling victorious
Shoppers have access to black Friday sales prices sometimes as early as October. A lot of major department stores have “door buster sales” offering an outrageous discount on certain items between specific hours or only a certain quantity of customers. Even though you’re paying for it, you kind of get the rush of winning a prize.
“Only the first 50 people here got this price… I’m one of them.”
To get away from our family
Spending the 4 day weekend with your family can be a bit exhausting. So if getting up at the crack of dawn to fight a bunch of strangers is a break for you then to each his own.
Thanksgivings aren’t just sitting down with your immediate family for a few hours for most people, its days of eating left over stuffing, seeing family members and family friends you only see this time of year and people who probably still see you as a 6-year-old.
Sometimes sneaking to the mall to eat food court pizza and buy yourself a sweater is sanctuary.
Not everyone 100% trusts online shopping
Our wholes lives are online, it’s how we keep in touch, how we meet our dates, how we pay our bills but some people still don’t like the idea of purchasing things online.
Weather it’s the shipping cost, fear of delay, damage upon delivery or cyber-crime a lot of people just don’t want to entrust the happiness of their love ones on Christmas morning to a computer.
It’s what we’ve always done
I remember in high school my older sister would get up every black Friday to “Hit up the sales.”
Almost every year I went with her and would return home with DVD’s from the DVD bin. Some might be for gifts but most were for my own personal collection.
While as an adult I don’t get up at the crack of dawn and head to the mall I do normally stop by in the afternoon when things are slightly calmer and see if anything catches my eye.
While some people have a hardcore plan and strategy for hitting the black Friday sales a lot are like me, they just stop in for tradition.
Because that’s what it really has become. A tradition, a holiday all its own.
I don’t know if these reasons make shopping on black Friday okay or not but from what I can tell this tradition isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Do you shop on black Friday sales? Why do you?
If you are a Black Friday Shopper to save some energy and money to go shopping Saturday Novemeber 28th and support Small Business Saturday!