Happy November to you all!
It’s an exciting month – we’re just weeks away from the start of the festive season. All fingers and toes are crossed that the new lockdown will enable us to celebrate with our families and have as “normal” a Christmas Day as possible.
But there’s something looming on the horizon that I’d like to talk to you all about today: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
They are possibly the most hyped of all sale days even surpassing the Boxing Day Sales.
Retailers are already preparing their deals and discounts for 27th November.
Shopify and the apps I use are all sending their “how to” emails and encouraging online retailers to prepare for this momentous sale.
I’m ignoring every single one!
Here’s why Tiger Lily Crafts won’t be participating in Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year, or in any year to come:
Black Friday can be bad for mental health. Everyone knows that a little ‘retail therapy’ can be uplifting and good for a bad mood. Scientists have found that impulse buying causes a rush of dopamine (one of the happy hormones) that makes us feel good. But what goes up inevitably must come down. If you’ve ever felt guilty after the rush of treating yourself wears off, you are not alone!
The stress of rushing to buy, queuing and even getting stuck in Black Friday traffic jams can trigger the body’s fight or flight response with a rush of adrenaline. Even with the best of intentions, this can affect our decision-making ability and cause us to buy things we don’t need or really want, not to mention the build-up of anxiety this leads to.
The fear of missing out on what’s advertised as an epic deal encourages impulsive spending whether we can afford it or not. We’ve all seen the news reports of fights breaking out in Asda over TVs! People who would ordinarily be polite end up bickering over limited stock.
Large retailers can afford to slash their prices and even make a loss on goods to entice shoppers. This can have a devastating impact on small independent retailers who can’t possibly match these prices.
With the beginning of a new lockdown, internet shopping is bound to take off with most sales being made online. Big retailers will have their warehouse and delivery staff working overtime, away from their families and risking their health to fulfil a surge of orders over the Black Friday weekend. There is a real human cost to this frenzy of sales.
It’s an unavoidable truth that some of the deals on offer this Black Friday will be worth it if you need that product. What isn’t publicised enough is that the majority of ‘deals’ aren’t unique to that day only. Shop around and use price comparison websites to see the historic prices of the item you’re interested in and quite often you’ll find that it was the same price or cheaper at other times during the year. Which? magazine has called this “the great Black Friday swindle”.
Shop consciously this Black Friday and follow Money Saving Expert’s mantras:
Skint? Ask “Do I need it? Can I afford it?”
Not Skint? Ask “Will I use it? Is it worth it?”
I’ll leave you with some words from the senior consumer rights editor at Which?, Adam French: “It is a work of evil genius. Black Friday is not that different to any other sales period through the year. The difference is the hype. The hype around it is huge, and the number of retailers involved is astronomical.”