I dislike the overblown, frenetic, & scarcity-minded ethos of Black Friday. Plus, dignify always has our own one-day, once-a-year sale earlier in November. So: why participate in any of it?!
This is a tension that I have wrestled with over 6 holiday seasons, end every year, I’m back at the drawing board.
This year, we decided that yes, we would offer free shipping over the weekend as a BFCM (industry shorthand for Black Friday/Cyber Monday) bonus. And yes, what led us there was simple economics. It works, it makes money, it makes sense. But, probably not in the same way that you think...
The cheerfulness is right in the name there, isn't it? You get through your day of turkey & holiday peace, and then... doomsday!
But, stampedes and nonsense aside, we all know that Friday (through Monday, often) is the time to shop. Christmas is coming, and we are all just trying to stretch our dollars as far as we can. I am certainly not above special event & sales shopping, personally, or (as you can read below) as a retailer.
How can we be smart about getting the good deals, and maximizing our budgets, without going totally overboard? It is soooo easy to get swept up in the excitement and one-time-only and fun of it all; it is very easy to still overspend, because we buy all kinds of extra things that were too good to pass up.
I wrote a guide earlier this year that is essential Shop Good: it's how to shop smarter, spend better, avoid buyer's remorse, and really to be able to shop with confidence & with the satisfaction of money well spent. Here are a few principles straight from it that can really help direct your shopping next weekend (and throughout the holidays):
All of the Christmas shopping mania is well behind us now and I’ve packed up our leftover kantha stockings for next year. But there’s a shopping story from the holidays that I just can’t get out of my head.
So, my friend E is mostly pretty normal, but does this one CRAZY thing every year. On Boxing Day (December 26th), when the deals are rampant and the malls are overrun, my genteel, introverted friend sets her alarm pre-dawn and goes shopping.
I’m talking, like, 12+ hours of shopping. On the most insane shopping day of the year (US friends: Boxing Day in Canada is our hectic version of Black Friday). Sometimes it involves multiple malls!
She has her reasons: it’s a tradition that she has shared with her sister for 20 years; it’s the only day she shops for herself all year; she avoids the inevitable Christmas crash of broken new toys and kids’ excitement fallout. I get it. (Well, not really, but I nod my head and try to.)
Anyhow, she told me a story from this year’s expedition of a late-day visit to a well known yoga-wear/fitness/lounging clothes purveyor. It had clearly been teeming with shoppers earlier in the day, judging by the crowd-control barriers that were still by the doorway (though unnecessary now at 6pm). E and her sister headed towards the changeroom (which they would share, natch, as they’d been doing all day). She noticed that on the doors of the changerooms, there was a whiteboard where an employee had written the number of items, the customer’s name, and also another number.
As the attendant shuffled them into their shared room, she wrote 6:23 on the door and barked, “You’ve got 10 minutes,” [slam].