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Black Friday Tensions: A Sensible Approach to Discount Shopping

On my trusty Google calendar, the all-day entry/event for today (that I entered months ago) stated: “Black Friday - Ugggghhhh!

Even though I operate a retail business, and even though the holiday season is when an enormous percentage of our annual sales occur, I still feel this way about Black Friday: Ugggghhhh!

I certainly understand why it has become a “thing”; when our own one day sale came and went, it was awesome! It’s helpful as a retailer to condense the workload into a focused time and, of course, discounts encourage browsers to take the plunge.

But, the stampedes, the craziness, the midnight-at-Thanksgiving openings, the rock-bottom-deals-at-whose-expense: it’s gotten so out of hand! I have such a distasteful feeling about the whole thing. And yet…

I, too, receive emails about sales from my favourite shops (I love Ugmonk’s 20% off + annual charity drive). I notice that items I had planned on purchasing locally are discounted for the weekend. Am I so passionately opposed to Black Friday that I myself, as a shopper, boycott it?


Am I a hypocrite? Probably… but don’t we all live in these kinds of tensions every single day?

This Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), my advice (to myself and anyone else who listens in) is simple:

Don’t go crazy!

Deep discounts and short timelines do not change the two basic questions worth asking about any and all of my spending:

  • Do I really want to give you [the store] my money?
  • Is what I am getting in return worth the value (to me) as compared to other things I could do with my money?

If the answer to both of those questions is a resounding YES, then shop on! Spend confidently, knowing that you are choosing how you spend, not being manipulated by countdowns and pseudo-deals.

How many times have I bought an article of clothing thinking, "$20 is a great deal for a shirt at this store," even when I didn't really love the shirt. It's only taken fool-me-18-times-shame-on-me to realize that it's not a deal when I've wasted $20 on a shirt that stayed folded in my drawer indefinitely.

Not this time! Now I'm wiser, and you are, too. Shop well this weekend, knowing that sensible you is in charge, not Black Friday.



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