How to Avoid Black Friday Madness

Black Friday 02Black Friday is past us, but I hear there’s another one coming next year, so these might come in handy. Every year people trample over each other rushing into their favorite store so they can save a few dollars on items they don’t need in the first place.

Injuries like broken bones and bruises are not uncommon when taking part in such events. And the savings aren’t all that huge to begin with. Chances are most people won’t even get to the item that’s labelled “door crusher” because those who lined up the night before grabbed it first. The deals on pages two and onwards aren’t really all that great to begin with, from what I’ve seen. So considering all these factors, is it really worth it to spend a few hours of your life surrounded by strangers who didn’t even brush their teeth?

If you’re still tempted to line up and spend money you don’t have to buy stuff you don’t need, let me share a few tips that will make that decision a lot easier:

1. Do you really need that toaster that’s been discounted by 18%, or the bed sheet set that’s $20 off? If you get excited about the fabulous discount as you’re going through the Black Friday flyer, take a deep breath and think: can I get the same deal or something close some other time? In 90% of the cases, the answer is yes.

2. Try to picture yourself AFTER you’ve gotten that insane deal. Are you happier? Are your family members happier because of owning <insert useless item here>? If not, then stay home and spend time with your loved ones.

3. Be grateful for the things you already have. Think about it: one day after we give thanks for what we already have in our lives, we go out to buy more stuff. It simply doesn’t make sense.

4. Wait until retailers drop prices in January. Seriously, there are so many discounts in January when no one is buying because they’ve maxed out their credit cards. Why buy into the insanity when you can sit back and wait calmly for the real discounts to become available?

5. Do some simple math: Let’s say a $400 television is discounted to $200. Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? Let’s see if it really is.

A deal like that is probably on the first page on the flyer, with the word “door crasher” next to it. It might as well say “bone crusher” but that would make way too much sense. In order to get that deal, you’d have to line up the night before, let’s say at 11:00PM. The doors open at 5:00AM, so if you buy that TV and some other heavily discounted useless items, you’ll be out of the store around 8 – 9PM. Don’t forget the lineups at the cash registers. Including driving time you’ve spent about 10 hours of your life to get that deal. So you saved $200 and spent 10 hours to do that; that’s about $20 per hour. If your time is worth that little, then go ahead and spend it that way.

That same television, however, or a better one, will be discounted to $300 or even less in January when there are no lineups, no bone crushing and no need to spend an entire night in the cold. Now, if you re-do the math, you’re actually valuing your time at less than $10 per hour. Personally I don’t think it’s worth it, but I’ll leave the decision up to you.

6. Ask yourself what’s more important: to spend time with the loved ones, or o save a hundred bucks and put my life in danger at the same time? The answer should be obvious.


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