Did you get bitten by the Black Friday bug last weekend? These advertisers know what they are doing, making you feel that you will totally miss out on the best deals ever by not being first on line in front of their big box store at 5:30 in the morning.
So how many of us take the day off work. We crawl out of bed, leave behind a sink full of Thanksgiving dishes to drive over the nearest superstore. Only to fight out way to what we are told is a great deal. If you don’t go then someone else will get all those sweet deals. Right?
Well, maybe not.
Remember it was only a few years ago that Black Friday sales actually started to creep into Thursday evening. It began as a midnight madness type of sale but then inched closer and closer to 4:00 pm. The Black Friday frenzy was overtaking Thanksgiving dinner. Retail employees we’re wolfing down their turkey and stuffing because they had to head out to work on a day that was designated specifically for home and family.
Luckily, after a few years of consumer pushback many stores dropped the early Thursday sales and moved it back to Friday where it belonged. However, that didn’t necessarily stop shopping. They just moved it to cyber space.
According to NBSNews Black Friday Online sales it a new high this year. These followed quickly by Cyber Monday show that more people are buying online for the holiday’s. And why not it’s easy, convenient and might be less expensive. Or is it?
The online ease of time sensitive flash sales are still tapping into a buyers urgency to not miss out on the savings. I know from my own experience that I have said to myself, “I better buy this (insert useless item I don’t really need) because I won’t ever see it for this price again.”
I don’t care what it is at that price I need it!!
The issue then isn’t the price of the item it becomes the fear that you will miss out on these insanely low prices. (which are usually not insanely low at all by comparison.) Advertisers have become so adept at creating a feeling of scarcity we don’t think twice about parting ways with our money for the Memory Form cat bed, (although cats can find comfort on a car tire.) We really need that water resistant shower speaker (can’t sing in the shower without one…oh wait you can.) Can’t forget about the Ukulele Starter Pack (because one day you will sing tiny bubbles in the shower to your cat on their form bed.)
Black Friday and its online twin Cyber Monday help you fulfill that Christmas anxiety with the words BUY NOW. But when you look at the credit card bill sticker shock is an understatement. I remember thinking “What did I buy?”
There is something to be said for the physical presence of counting out bills that makes you more aware of what you are spending. Couple a click of a mouse with the new internet urgency and you have the makings for an overspending disaster. That is no way to have a happy holiday.
Black Friday sales can be a force of good if you give yourself limits. Here are 5 ways to use the Black Friday frenzy to your advantage.
- Know what you intend to purchase before the sales come out.
- Remember most sales are cyclical and these prices will come and go.
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer a single day event but have been extended to weeklong sales with most merchants so do not rush into anything. Take time to consider your purchases.
- Just like Santa says make a list of what you intend to buy for whom. More importantly make a budget plan and stick to it.
- If you missed Black Friday don’t forget you can still compare prices between stores and prices match at some retailers to pay the least for an item.
- Most importantly…remember the holiday season is not about your Black Friday 50 inch TV or other electronic item. Matter of fact it is not about things at all. It is about people. You are giving gifts from the heart to show people you love them. Despite what advertisers tell you it is not about putting yourself into debt impulsively buying to combat the feeling of FOMO. (Fear of Missing Out.)