Monday, November 12, 2012

Black Friday Sales – Is That Deal Really Worth It?

Black Friday Sales – Is That Deal Really Worth It?

Black Friday is essentially a created shopping event to kick off the Christmas buying season. Stores have historically offered special deals to entice customers into the stores on the day following Thanksgiving – which is for most of us part of a long holiday weekend.

Over the past few years retailers have pushed the start of Black Friday earlier and earlier with people camped outside the doors of stores waiting to stampede for the best deals. I can’t imagine anything less worthwhile than waiting in line outside Walmart or Best Buy or any other purveyor of goods in the wee hours of the morning to fight crowds for a 50% discount on something that has a limited supply.

In today’s world nearly anything can be purchased online at a reasonable price. If one looks for online coupon codes one can find free shipping, discount coupons, and reviews of almost any item all from the comfort of one’s family room. Of course, the discount may be smaller – but is it really worth the discomfort, frustration, crowds, lines, and time involved to seek out that deal?

As one who admits to a tendency towards compulsive shopping, I can state categorically that I’ve no interest in that mad pursuit of a deal available only after midnight on Black Friday. For me Thanksgiving is for family and celebrating the blessings I already have – not a focus on acquiring more stuff.  That is not to say I have an opposition to shopping on Black Friday. But, it is far more pleasurable to head out with my mom and mother-in-law to hit a few local stores in mid-day with a leisurely lunch and joy at spending time with loved ones.

One of the gifts of age is the appreciation of what is important and what is not. My husband and I do not exchange gifts for Christmas or birthdays. My parents have requested that in lieu of tangible gifts we donate to their scholarship foundation. That is far more rewarding than succumbing to the commercialism of Christmas in North America. While I am a strong supporter of Capitalism, I personally choose to eschew the hysteria  involved in the pursuit of the deal on Black Friday and hope that all reasonable people stop and consider….is it really worth it?

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