13 Reasons You Should Avoid Black Friday
“Black Friday” is a phrase that makes all but the most seasoned and ruthless bargain-hunter shudder in horror. This is no fun day of shopping where you might score a great deal; it’s the time of year when humans show their true faces and become a howling, violent mob that won’t hesitate to crush any living thing beneath its feet and suffer any indignity just on the off chance that the members of its hive-mind might get some cheap kitchenware and electronics for 40 percent off. The deals you see on TV and hear about on the radio might seem tempting, but don’t fall for it — it’s not worth it. Here are the reasons why you should shun Black Friday, and shun it hard.
1. You Won’t Have To Go Outside
Relax knowing that you’re avoiding the traffic hell created by Black Friday, not to mention the packed parking lots and bitter sub-zero temperatures that shoppers experience when they stand outside at 3 in the morning waiting for stores to open. You’ll be snuggled safely in your warm bed dreaming of leftover food while Black Friday shoppers prepare to battle each other to the death and then engage in rage-fuelled fender-benders.
2. No One Should Wake Up At 3 A.M. To Go Shopping
No one. Not ever.
3. You’ll Avoid Having Body Parts Crushed In A Stampede
We’ve all seen the pictures of surging crowds crushing, trampling, throttling, punching, screaming and spitting at each other. By staying out of it all, you completely avoid the possibility that you’ll be one of those poor people who get hurled to the ground and mauled by other shoppers who have to have that last copy of “Frozen” for their 5-year-old niece, who would probably be horrified by what is happening to you as you crash to the floor, clutching desperately to a plastic DVD case as you’re torn limb from limb.
4. The Internet Exists
Black Friday is everywhere, including the Internet. Many of the deals that you can get in person can also be had online, except there are no crowds, no lines, no physical violence and only a few obscenities.
5. Some Stores Are Opening at 5 P.M. On Thanksgiving
That’s right — 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. If you shop at these stores, you’ll be sacrificing part of your holiday to fight your way through crowds; you’ll also make the stores’ employees sacrifice a large part of their own holiday, which they might otherwise spend doing things like eating, relaxing and being with their families instead of being screamed at by an enormous pack of rabid customers fighting over a place in line.
6. No Deal Is Worth It
Is getting a blender for 50 percent off really worth the lifelong damage to your dignity and the sacrifice of your soul? Will that $350 stand mixer that you got for $100 make you feel less terrible for grabbing another person by the hair and yanking them to the ground? Black Friday shoppers may feel an initial rush of adrenaline when they score a great deal, but it’s doubtful that they can live with themselves after screaming obscenities at a 70-year-old grandmother and then ramming into her with a full shopping cart.
7. Crowd Overload
If you venture out to shop on Black Friday or Thanksgiving, you’ll likely be surrounded by more human beings at one time than you ever have in your life, and they’ll all be breathing, sneezing and coughing on you. They’ll probably also touch you in uncomfortable places during the stampede for merchandise, and you may come out of the whole experience with the strong urge to never enter a store again, which is something you really need to do if you want to continue to feed and clothe yourself.
8. You’ll Maintain Your Dignity
No matter how much food you stuff into your groaning stomach, take comfort in the fact that you haven’t fallen prey to the hyena-esque mob mentality that grasps shoppers on Black Friday. You might spend two solid days in sweatpants (OK, let’s be honest: four days), but at least your choices affect you and only you.
9. You Won’t Be Photographed For News Stories
Remember those pictures of people trampling on other people? That could be you frozen in time with a scream on your face and your hand around another person’s throat as you battle for something totally inessential like a waffle maker or a set of sheets — or you could just stay home and shake your head in disgust when you read the latest story about a frenzied Black Friday mob.
10. You’ll Feel More Human And Less Rat-Like
Shoppers are herded through stores on Black Friday like a mob of rats through a laboratory maze… or maybe like a herd of sheep moving from pen to pen on their way to graze. Don’t shop on Black Friday if you want to preserve your sense of humanity and avoid feeling like a sheep-rat.
11. Impulse Buys Will End Up Costing You More
Sure, you might head into Target or Best Buy with the goal of buying a new TV and nothing more, but once you see how cheap everything else is, how can you resist buying a massaging lumbar support cushion and a new DVD/Blu-Ray player and an extra HDMI cable just in case and oooh, a shiny new iPhone charging dock for only $10.99!!
12. Many Black Friday Deals Actually Suck
According to a November 2011 Consumer Report, prices are often lower between Cyber Monday and Dec. 13 than they are during Black Friday. In addition, many of the good deals are on “secondary and tertiary brands” — that is, brands that no one really wants.
13. You Can Spend Your Time And Money In Better Ways
Instead of wasting money on third-tier items that you don’t really need, go to the grocery store on any day of the week and buy some canned and dry goods to donate to charity. Or go through your closets and donate old winter clothes you aren’t using. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself and help strangers in need rather than racking up a bunch of bad karma for punching someone in the face because they took the off-brand DVD player you wanted.