On November 25, 2016, more than 100 million Americans emerged from their homes with a mission: get those Black Friday deals.
Are you braving the crowds this year? Don’t – it’s not worth it.
People have long touted Black Friday as retail’s holy grail, the only time of the year to scoop up unbeatable deals on the season’s most popular toys, electronics, home goods, and more.
But these low prices have always come at a “price” of their own. No matter how many Black Friday tips you follow, huge crowds of shoppers, early morning hours, and lines – ugh, the lines – have only grown more intense over the past years.
Which begs the question, should you just stay at home this year? Yes. Yes, you should. Here’s a fuller explanation why.
1. The deals aren’t as good as you think.
63% of Americans agreed that Black Friday doesn’t offer the best deals of the year. And of those so-called “great” deals you find, 11% of them will be recycled from last year and 17% of them can be found cheaper online, according to Huffington Post.
So why does the myth of Black Friday savings still exist? Hype. And for retailers, necessity. About 30% of retail sales happen between Black Friday and the end of the holiday season. In fact, it’s named Black Friday because it’s traditionally been the day many retailers turn a profit, or in accounting terms, enter the “black.”
According to research, the actual best times to snatch up some of the popular items from Black Friday are the following:
- Toys – before Thanksgiving
- Online sales – Thanksgiving day
- Electronics – early November
Plan your holiday shopping lists accordingly. Trust us, you’ll be better off.
2. Waking up early is overrated.
So let us understand this. On Thanksgiving, people spend the night stuffing their faces with turkey, potatoes, gravy, carrots, corn, stuffing – only to be followed by slices of pumpkin, apple, and pecan pie. Then, just hours later the next morning, they wake up sub-sunrise, get dressed (with a shopping list in tow), and embark out into the world to brave scores of crowds, all hunting for deals they may not even get in time?
Call us crazy, but staying in bed and letting your food coma wear off sounds like a much better idea!
3. Cyber Monday will be bigger and better than ever.
With the proliferation of online shopping came a new consumer holiday to accompany Black Friday: Cyber Monday.
If you’ve ever shopped Cyber Monday sales, you know they’re the real thing. But if you’re debating Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday, this year’s digital deal day is slated to be even bigger than ever. 56% of consumers plan to make a purchase this year on Cyber Monday, a huge uptick from the 39% of consumers who shopped last year.
And even before Cyber Monday rolls around, many Black Friday deals are also available online in higher quantities and often with free shipping. So if there’s a Black Friday deal you just can’t live without, check online first. You may be able to snag it from the comfort of your own home.
4. Controlling impulse buys will be easier.
When you think of Black Friday, you probably think of big, cheap TVs. Maybe a discounted video game system. Even discounted jewelry. And sure, these big-ticket items will get you in the door of big name retailers, but impulsive “add-on” purchases are where your budget can start to feel the hurt.
In 2017, it’s estimated the average shopper will spend $967.13 on Black Friday alone. Overspending on your credit card could affect your score, and ultimately make it more difficult to make more consequential long-term investments like buying a home.
The easiest way to avoid this temptation is to take yourself out of the Black Friday game completely. Make your holiday shopping list earlier, and stick to it.
5. Thanksgiving leftovers vs. the mall food court.
Everyone knows that Thanksgiving dinner tastes even better the day after (and then the day after that, and the day after that). Plus, braving the mall food court on Black Friday is about as fun as a root canal. So the choice is simple: part two of a delectable Thanksgiving feast, or crummy fast food likely dug out of the bottom of some freezer and deep fried?
You can make that call.
6. You’ll be missing out on quality family time.
More and more, retailers are opening the night of Thanksgiving to showcase the “hottest” deals of the Black Friday weekend. If you decide to take that bait, you could shorten the amount of time you spend with your loved ones on this holiday.
Giving thanks is the reason for the season – isn’t it? Thanking a cashier for the cheap TV doesn’t count – slowing down and enjoying Thanksgiving with friends and family does.
This year, do yourself a favor and avoid the crowds on Black Friday. Home is safer, more comfortable, and more affordable. And actually, your home could offer other benefits you may not have considered. Check out some of the unexpected benefits of homeownership here.