Opinion: Black Friday
Black Friday on November 25 has recently passed, and when else was a better time to become a shopper than during a time of discounts and special sales? The answer is anytime else. Black Friday shoppers are the gladiators of the store aisles, the vivid defenders and hoarders of store products and various accessories.
I think going out to shop on Black Friday is absolutely insane. Black Friday is literally infamous for cases of injuries and possible deaths every single year as shoppers line up and camp for hours before the store even opens so they could get the best products for the lowest price as fast as they could. There is an actual website out there that has a death and injury counter for Black Friday. It currently resides at seven deaths and ninety-eight injuries, with the most recent death recorded in 2013. Perhaps one of the most famous cases of Black Friday deaths was when a Walmart employee was knocked down and trampled over a few years ago by the swarm of consumers.
Many people will argue that the best sales happen on Black Friday and they must get the deals before it is too late and Black Friday is over. However, this is not the case. I personally believe Cyber Monday on November 28 is far better than Black Friday, because most sales are done within the comfort your own home, without all the shopper rage and anxiety. One can even wait until Christmas to shop for special sales and prices, instead of Black Friday. There are also deals that do not just happen on Black Friday or some other special time if one is willing to do some short research.
Furthermore, Black Friday is all part of a corporate strategy to take more from the shoppers than what the shoppers should get out of the money. The reason the prices are low is so that shoppers will be frantic to overspend on things they do not need at all. Compared to a regular day, people on Black Friday spend so much more on useless items than useful items. Another strategy companies use on Black Friday is to promise extremely low prices for different items like laptops and clothing. However, the stock of these items are low even though the companies expect a lot of people to come in anyways, a perfect chance for the customers to see the other products on sale.
Another reason why Black Friday is a bad idea is the quality of goods presented on Black Friday by different companies. Different stores know that shoppers would be more inclined to buy things without consideration or too much judgement due to the fact the price is low and there is limited time to buy things. A good reason why a price can be lowered is due to used or possibly damaged products, and a shopper would never know until they bring it home.
Black Friday is not only insanity for the consumers, but it is sometimes even more insane for the employers. Black Friday hours cut right into the workers’ Thanksgiving time, usually for longer shifts than normal at a time. As Black Friday workers, they have to handle the horde of price hunters that rush in early in the day all the way to the evening, while servicing much more people they are accustomed to.
The most important aspect of Black Friday is that the shopping is absolutely stressful and tips the scales of sanity. Shoppers in especially crowded situations on Black Friday tend to get more rowdy than normal and argue back and forth just so they can get the limited stocked item on sale. The day is just unhealthy in general to a consumer’s health and stress levels.
In the end, I only wish for people to be more informed on what Black Friday is all about and all the underlying causes and effects of Black Friday. To me, it has a lot more negative aspects than positive aspects for some very good reasons, but it is always up to the consumer themselves to weigh the positives and negatives.