Starting around the ’98 tech boom, my dad and I got really into shopping on Black Friday. I was in college and would come home for Thanksgiving, only to wake up at 3am the next day and drive to Fry’s or Best Buy and stand in line. When you finally got in the front door and the craziness started, it was magical. We always needed a $40 hard drive, or some extra RAM. When HDTV got big, we were the first to run for the doorbusters, coming home with our new Samsung, or more likely Sanyo, TV.
But now, as time has worn on and I am older, as stores have tried harder and harder to make you spend every penny you have on the newest junk, I have come to realize that Black Friday is just another day to get scammed. Here are 10 reasons Black Friday isn’t what it used to be.
1. Everyone has a flatscreen TV.
It used to be that the worst flat screen TV was better than your old tube-based nightmare box, but now that everyone has a flat screen, if people want to upgrade they will want something with a little more quality. Yeah, you may want a 4k TV for Christmas, but if you purchase the cheapest 4k they have to offer, prepare to be disappointed. Especially with TV’s it is vital that you go to the store and check out how the TV looks in person before choosing to buy.
2. The discount items are more ‘discount’ than you know.
I brought home a super cheap Emerson flatscreen from Walmart one year, and I wasn’t kidded into thinking it was a quality item. For $89, I was just hoping it would turn on. When I took it home, and looked up the model number on the Internet, I realized it wasn’t even one of their standard TV’s, but an extra-cheap version they made just for Black Friday. That means little to no support, and finding forums or manuals will be near impossible.
3. Sleep is the best.
I’m going to pull out my patented “Big Guy Perspective” and say that one of the best holidays of the year is Thanksgiving. I take my family down to my parents house and go to town on some turkey and mashed potatoes. I watch football and eat extra pie. And then I sleep.
This may not be true for everyone, but there are some things more important to me as I grow older than money. One of those things is sleeping in. If I have the opportunity to sleep and not be interrupted by my kids because Grandma and Grandpa are taking care of them, I’m going to take it. Sorry Best Buy, you lose this time.
4. The Amazon effect.
I know we tend to plug Amazon a lot here, but that is because we can get just as cheap prices without the pain of actually getting up and going to the store. If you don’t have Amazon Prime, I’m not sure if we can be friends. I used to love getting up early and feeling the chill that came with fresh bargains, but that first year I decided that I was just going to take a look at what Amazon’s sale had to offer, I became a changed man. Honestly, even on a normal Amazon day, you can probably find what you are looking for at almost the same price as those Black Friday prices. You got to ask yourself if it is worth the extra effort to save $10 on an iPad Mini (16GB only of course).
5. It all costs money anyway.
Imagine for a moment, that instead of Black Friday shopping, or going on Amazon or eBay, you decide not to give in to your impulses. You figure that your current TV can last you another year, and you don’t really need to get that robot dinosaur for your nephew. You can sleep in. You can spend Friday with friends and family, extending your Thanksgiving day into the weekend without having to spend any money. Imagine not getting into debt just because something you don’t need anyway is on sale. Maybe Apple or Google or Best Buy can wait another year.
Or fine, go stand in the cold. See if I care.