Jessica e-mailed the following:
I enjoy reading your blog as I like to save money too! I was wondering about your thoughts on shopping on Black Friday. I know last year I found great deals but it took a little work… So just wondering about your experience or plans with saving money with Black Friday…
I’ve never participated in Black Friday shopping, though that’s not to say that I wouldn’t in the future.
For starters, in Christmases past, I have had a very short shopping list. My family is small (and easy to please, I think!), I have no children, and I had a really tiny gift budget.
So small, that in a lot of cases, I was giving them homemade items, shopping regular clearance racks and at the dollar store. Black Friday deals weren’t good enough on a college student’s budget.
This year, I don’t plan to participate. On Friday, my husband and I will be driving to my parent’s house from his parent’s house, and since we don’t want to drive super-tired, we won’t be getting up early to go shopping.
However, I’ll be watching the deals to see if I can snag anything online, perhaps.
I’m in the market for one high-ticket item, and that’s for myself. Uh…you see, I’ve wanted this particular camera for about a half a year, and I’ve been waiting for the price to drop (and also, until recently, it didn’t fit into the budget).
In the leaked Black Friday ads, this model wasn’t featured. Darn.
In the future, I’ll participate in Black Friday if:
-I have a large shopping budget
-I have a large shopping list (when I have kids old enough to want toys)
-I’ll only go with a specific list to minimize impulse buys that turn out to be bad decisions
-I’ll probably stay up all night before shopping. I find it easier to stay awake than to get up early.
-If I try for Black Friday deals, I’ll only go to one store, or two if they’re close together. The great deals seem to be gobbled up fast!
Some downsides to Black Friday:
-You’re shopping in a zoo. People can become mobs, and mob action can turn dangerous very fast. Or at least, mobs can be rude.
-You could spend more money than you intended, simply because an item is a great bargain.
-You have to be up at an unreasonable hour.
-You could have a lot of fun, if you enjoy the crowds and the atmosphere
-You might get some store freebies that they pass out as incentives
-You could get some great deals on items you were already planning to purchase
-You could get some holiday shopping completed well before Christmas
Here’s what a few bloggers are saying:
Kyle made it all the way to the store last year, but changed his mind at the last second:
“I also wondered what time the people at the front of the line had gotten there, although their pillows and sleeping bags should have given me a clue. I considered getting in line for a few seconds, but instead made the smart choice and headed home hoping the blankets were still warm.” LOL.
Wise Bread wants to share some shopping tips and hear your stories.
Six in the Country is roarin’ and ready to go! “I will be up at 1 a.m., leave the house by 1:30, meet my shopping buddy (my friend Terri) by 2:00, then off to the big city to get our shop on!” Go get ’em, girl!
A Penny Closer has avoided shopping for awhile, and related at just how jarring the experience can be. Eric points out that avoiding this mass consumerism altogether can be a good thing:
“Luckily, we went in with a mission and avoided most of the temptations at the stores. We didn’t buy a single thing. We stuck to our commitment just to price the things we knew we wanted, and to compare the models that we were considering.”
Your turn! What are your thoughts on Black Friday?