Black Friday, or Black Thursday if you shop on Thanksgiving, may seem like the ultimate way to save money and get your holiday shopping out of the way. With deals so good and prices so cheap, it appears that this is a beloved time for many, but what you’re about to read and the dangers of Black Friday will have you thinking otherwise. Even if you still decide to go on your annual Black Friday sprees, keep these facts in mind and stay safe.
The Deals You Get May Not Really Be Deals at All
In many cases, stores will mark up their products before Black Friday, only to mark them down with “Black Friday deals” when really, you’re saving just pennies on the products, if that. If you’ve ever worked in retail or are simply observant with prices, you probably know this little trick. Did you really think stores would risk losing thousands of dollars just to put a smile on your face? The answer is “no.” For example, a pair of headphones may originally be $136 in store, then raised to $170 later on. During Black Friday, these headphones are now on-sale 20% off, back to the $136 original price, but the tag would say, “20% off – Originally $170, now $136. You save $34.” Do they not think the customers would notice? Well, in most cases, we are blind to it and pay little attention to price changes, but we are suddenly alert when we see a sign that says, “20% off.” It’s scandalous, but it works, and technically it’s not lying. It happens more than you could imagine.
Many of the Black Friday Products Are Reject Items or Are Cheaply, Mass-Produced
Especially for electronics, Black Friday shopping can be a rip-off. You think you’re getting a nice 60″ flat screen TV for just $50, but when you come home, the TV either has a cracked screen, the speakers are broken, or it only works for a few months before breaking due to defects. Then every time you go back to the store later to replace it, another problem arises with the item. These products are either mass-produced, were returned by customers in the past due to defects, or were purposely known to have malfunctions by the producers, only for stores to carelessly resell their products cheap on Black Friday. Better to sell a junk product for something than to trash it and lose money, right? That’s how businesses see it. From experience, this is important to tell Black Friday shoppers, so they know what they’re paying for and aren’t alarmed when they find an issue with their Black Friday products.
It’s Just a Scam to Get You in Their Stores
Do the stores really want you to be happy when you receive their cheaply, marked-down products and want you and your family to enjoy them? No, they want money. Money, money, money. The sooner they get Christmas-shopping cash, the better, and they will go to extremes to make their cold hard cash quickly. They don’t care if their Black Friday products have defects, if there was a massive water spill on their electronics before they were sold, or even if Barbie’s Dream House was opened up and has items missing from the box; they just want you in their store spending your hard-earned cash. Then next thing you know, you try to return the product the next day, but then the store is likely to say, “Sorry, no returns on Black Friday products. That’s your risk,” not to mention they probably no longer have that product in stock, or if they do, it’s just as defected as the first one you purchased.
It’s a Time-Consuming Horror
It’s crazy to stay stranded outside of a store, possibly during a blizzard, while feeling cold, hungry, and tired late at night when you could have a full stomach and be laying in a nice, warm, comfy bed in the safety of your own home, or snuggled up on the couch with a fire lit while getting lost in a good book, coffee in hand. You could be doing something productive or at least safer, but instead, you’re waiting to get into a store on Black Friday. By the time you even get in the store, are the Black Friday products you want still even in stock? Can you even find them in that chaotic store, moving one mile-per-hour due to being stuck in crowds of crazy shoppers? Are the products you want even worth it? Is the deal itself even worth it? Once, and if, you actually find the deals you want in the store, is the wait in line worth it, standing there with sore legs and tired, droopy eyes? There are many things to consider before wasting your time; at least make sure your experience is worthwhile when Black Friday shopping and that all your pain and suffering is at ease when you receive the products you want.
It May Cause You to Overspend and Purchase Unnecessary Items
When you’re in a mad rush during Black Friday and are pumped up on getting so-called good deals, you’re obviously going to be on a shopping high, buying everything in sight that has a cheap price, completely disregarding any budgets you may have. If you see video games on sale for $10 apiece, of course you’ll be thinking to yourself, “What a great deal! I need these! Even if I don’t like them, I could always give them to someone or resell them to my buddies.” Next thing you know, you have 20 videogames in your shopping cart, if the store even allows it and doesn’t have product limitations per customer. At that point, you’re already at a whopping $200, before tax, that is. Surrounded with deals, it’s no surprise you’ll be stock-piling up on products you don’t even need or want. The whole, “I might need it later” thing typically comes to factor a lot when Black Friday shopping, not to mention that there is no time to add up in your head how much your Black Friday “deals” are really going to be costing you with your full cart.
It’s Straight-Up Dangerous, but You’re Pretty Much Stuck
Smashed in a room full of hundreds of customers, it’s nearly impossible to act in cases of an emergency. We’ve all heard of stories on the news of two people getting in a fist fight, someone getting stabbed, or several gunshots being fired on Black Friday. Would if there was a fire, a power-outage, or a tornado warning? How would you all safely get out of the building and have the guts to abandon your shopping cart full of great deals? It’s all just too dangerous and risky, whether or not you’re truly getting a reasonable deal. It’s basically a life or death situation; you either make it out alive with something, or you never come out. Most stores hosting Black Friday don’t even act in correspondence with their store capacity. A store that can and should only hold 200 people safely may have a whopping 500 customers shopping frantically; it’s not safe, and regulations are not being properly implemented by the stores in most cases. Even if regulations were carried out, the customers outnumber the employees by hundreds, clearly giving them more power.
The point is, stay safe if you still are planning on Black Friday shopping! Nothing is more important than your own safety, not even a $50 flat screen TV or a “70% off all items in the store” deal.