I admit to being put off by the commercialism of Christmas, and the entire holiday season. I’m not quite a Scrooge, but pretty close! A while back I wrote about being a reformed emotional shopper. Might sound strange coming from a guy, but it is true. I used to shop when I was sad, happy, or just plain bored. I collected DVDs and CDs, video games, computer equipment, etc, and Black Friday ads were a thing of beauty. So was the rush of finding a great deal!
Black Friday Emotions: The Thrill of the Hunt
For some reason, advertisers have managed to convince us that if we don’t get to stores at 4:00am on Black Friday morning we are going to miss out on the deals of a lifetime. As if the products they are advertising will never again be available, or at least not at the price they are offering. I say, bah humbug!
First of all, if you are hanging out at a mall or parked in front of an electronic store at four o’clock in the morning you aren’t going to get the best deal anyway. There are many ways to save more on typical Black Friday purchases by using eBay, Amazon.com, or Craigslist to buy new items online, or gently used items via auction.
Secondly, too many people (myself included) get too caught up in the “thrill of the hunt” on Black Friday. It’s human nature, I suppose. People hear about a great deal and swarm to the store, whether they really need the item or not. Once there, they refuse to give up their place in line because someone else might get a better deal than them, or they may miss limited quantities reserved at that specific sale price.
Black Friday Ads: Loss Leaders Galore
Some of you may be wondering how stores can afford to sell their products at such huge discounts. Well, the answer is they really cannot afford to, but they do it in the hopes that you will come in planning to fill a shopping cart full of other items at a higher profit. It is the classic game of dangling a “loss leader” in front of consumers and hoping they don’t come in to buy just that item and leave.
So where will Frugal Dad be tomorrow morning at 5:00am? I’ll be hunkered down under a warm blanket with my family, sleeping off Thanksgiving Dinner and enjoying a day off. We have officially declared it a “No Spend Weekend” and plan to do a little work around the house, ride through our neighborhood and enjoy Christmas lights, and enjoy a warm fire with a holiday movie. Plenty of time for online shopping later.