Oh Black Friday. How I ignored your existence for so many years. Then we remodeled our house, and needed new appliances, so in 2011 the siren song of your deals sucked me in. And since then, while I don’t elbow or trample anyone in person, I do participate in the online frenzy.
What I love about Black Friday:
- Deals, ok? I love the deals, especially on things I was already going to buy or waited to buy until Black Friday deals came up. In preparation, I made a good effort to locate all these items secondhand, and was successful on some fronts (I bought my daughter a big load of clothes, and found winter boots for both kids) but not on others. So: I bought shoes for the kids, a bed frame and mattress for my daughter, a new vacuum (this year’s killer deal winner), new jackets for the kids that we love from Gap, a few clothes for me, a few stocking stuffers for the family.
- The thrill of the hunt, looking for the best deal. Notice that this will also appear below.
- The gratification. I delayed it, then I got the stuff.
- Related to the thrill of the hunt, the stacking of bargains. For some, I got the store’s discount, then additional $$ back through eBates, and my cashback through my credit card. Cha-ching on stuff I would have been buying in the near term anyway.
What I hate about Black Friday:
- The human price of instant delivery. I haven’t even been able to bring myself to listen to this podcast episode about it because I know my feelings will be horrible. At some point, I need to (see “misalignment” below).
- That I was willing to buy things new just because they were on a deal, when if I’d waited longer I could have likely obtained them secondhand, conserving resources and money. I don’t worry as much about the money as in the past, but the manufacturing load of new items troubles me. Except, it seems, when the deals are so good. So that leads me to . . .
- Misalignment with my values. Why am I willing to morph into some crazy-consumerist one weekend of the year and not at other times?
- The thrill of the hunt. Oh, there you are again. I wasted a LOT of time that weekend looking for the best deals on beds – and ended up buying one off Amazon for the regular price. I have been known to “buffer” with online shopping and see this is a negative activity for my overall well-being (“buffering” being a term from Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School and meaning activities we undertake in order not to feel undesired feelings or urges).
How about you?