You’re expected to get up well before the crack of dawn, throw on some clothes and head out to the mall to stand in line for one or two items that are being offered at a special price. These goods are loss leaders which means retailers hope that you will buy other, more profitable stuff when you shop.
Late or Early Store Openings
Some stores are opening up at midnight or even on Thanksgiving night in a bid to win your business. What this does for employee morale won’t be fully understood, but don’t be surprised if you do shop at midnight and find that the cashier isn’t exactly thrilled to see you
Is Black Friday shopping worth it? Not really. First of all, the term “Black Friday” means that retailers who were losing money (in the red) all season were now able to finally turn a profit (get in the black) and finish the year on an up note. Years ago that was true, but retailers no longer rely solely on the holiday season to push them into positive territory. Throughout the year there are other holidays and events to help swing profits including Mother’s Day, Back to School sales, weddings, graduations and Easter. If a retailer relied chiefly on Christmas, she’d be out of business by the first of the year. Second of all, the best deals can be had at other times and places, something that we’ll look at here:
Sleep In Specials — So, you missed the 12 midnight to 3 a.m. special? Not a big deal! If you were to wake up at 8 a.m. and head out to the store, you’ll find that some of these same retailers are running specials all day long. Others will be keeping prices low from open to close, which means that it doesn’t matter when you set foot in the store. And guess what? Many items will run out — that means you may be able to get a rain check. Take one, but don’t bank on delivery before Christmas.
Wait ‘Til Cyber Monday — Brick ‘n mortar shops will be working on getting your business all weekend long, but come Monday another even, Cyber Monday, will offer deals that weren’t available over the long, Thanksgiving weekend. One of those retailers, Target will be open at midnight Thanksgiving night, but they’ll be having big sales the following monday. Yes, Cyber Monday is when online retailers take over, to grab more business. In 2010, online retailers raked in more than $1 billion on Cyber Monday according to CNN Money.
Buy a Car — Skip the stores entirely on Black Friday and head to the auto dealer. That is, if you need a new car. According to The Auto Writer, discounts averaging 7.5 percent are possible later in the day on Black Friday. You didn’t want to go the mall anyway, so use the day after Thanksgiving to buy something meaningful — a new car!
Shop Whenever — Thanks to the Internet, deals can be had 24/7/365. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, should receive much credit for this trend. Amazon, and other retailers, set prices low and keep them there. Moreover, free shipping may be available or discounted. In any case, you may not have to pay state sales tax, making it cheaper to shop online than at your local store.
Still can’t resist shopping on Black Friday? Well, then have at it. I’m just saying that there are easier ways to get a deal without losing sleep, inconveniencing others or playing into corporate greed.
- Julia Kent
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Last update on 2019-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API