Why You Shouldn't Shop on Black Friday
4+ years experienced ex-retail employee explains why you shouldn't shop Black Friday.
I've worked in retail for the past 4 years. I've worked through every single season and every single holiday. I've worked three Black Fridays. And let me tell you a word of advice if you plan on shopping this Black Friday. DON'T!
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is a glorified American event used and leveraged by retail and tech companies as a way to encourage people to conduct their holiday shopping all in one day in hopes of getting a "sale" or "discount". This event is so glorified that people HAVE DIED (as of 2018, 10 people to be exact) trying to get a good deal from these supposed sales.
And yes, don't get me wrong, it's not like these companies aren't offering their products at a lower price during Black Friday. They are, but the lower price is not worth your life! The price is just NOT worth it.
What are the trade offs of getting a flat screen TV for $100 on Black Friday?
- Time - You spend hours struggling to find parking at the mall or shopping plaza only to finally get inside just to get into another line to purchase your items.
- Money - You lose money from the gas you waste doing circles in your car looking for parking. You lose money from impulsive purchases you make just because you are in the store.
- People Stampede - You are wedged in a crowded, stuffy store that smells like B.O. with people aggressively shopping. You maybe even witness a fight over products. Or get into one yourself. Watch some chaos here:
What could you have done instead?
- Shop Online - Cyber Monday exists & is proven to even have better sales depending on what you plan to purchase.
- Be Prepared - Prepare your purchases beforehand and go shopping for your items during any other time of the year. This prevents you from impulsive purchases that you'll return anyways.
- PRO-TIP - Shop for clothes during off season. Purchase your winter clothes during the summer & purchase your summer clothes during winter. Clothes will all be on sale because you're buying off season, and as an ex-retail employee I can guarantee that you will receive a better deal. Best time to purchase? End of the season sale for clothing. For on the west coast of America, that's the end of January up to mid February.
Don't believe me? Hear it from the experts on the best time to purchase items here.
What does Black Friday mean for retail and tech employees?
Another reason you shouldn't shop on Black Friday, based on my personal experience as a retail employee, is to give retail employees a break so they can spend time with their families during the holiday season.
Unfortunately, Black Friday falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving and retail and tech companies do not care. Corporate greed has caused the event start time to be pushed earlier and earlier every year, resulting in Black Friday being leaked into the previous day, Thursday, which is Thanksgiving. Retail and tech companies schedule and expect their employees to be able to work on Thanksgiving.
A retail company I used to worked for, (but will not name) even put up signs in our break room at the beginning of November that said "Cannot request work off during these dates xx/xx/xx - xx/xx/xx". It was a common rule that if employees tried to request work off within the time frame, they would be fired. And this is a common rule across many companies.
I understand that some retail and tech employees do want to work on Black Friday. They need the money, and the benefit of working on holidays is that you get time & a half or double-pay. But that's not the case for all retail and tech employees.
What about the people who still plan to shop on Black Friday?
I understand that for some people, Black Friday is a holiday event for them and their families. And that's completely fine. If you are looking for good prices, refer to the best times to purchase information and link above.
And remember to please be nice to retail and tech employees during Black Friday. They've sacrificed their time work on one of the worst shopping days of the year. And the least you can do is treat them as a decent human being.
As an ex-retail employee, I hope what you just read changes your mind on shopping on Black Friday or at least helps you become a more self-aware shopper.