No, I didn’t go Black Friday shopping today like I did last year. I don’t think I ever want to again. Gizmodo sums it up pretty nicely. Here are a few reasons that I liked:
- Deals in Exchange for Dignity – You know what sucks? Not being able to afford something you really want, like an HDTV, unless you sacrifice your dignity by camping out in front of a mall in below-freezing temperatures on a night that should be spent with your family. The insane early-hour doorbuster sales force people, especially people with lower incomes who rely on discounts and sales, to physically suffer for their purchases. No cheap Blu-ray player is worth that.
- Bait and Switch – One thing that’s consistent throughout all the Black Friday ads we’ve seen is that there aren’t actually many good deals to be had. Every store offers up a handful of legit deep discounts, of which they have an inadequate supply. They get you into the store with these deals, but unless you slept on a sidewalk the night before, you were basically suckered into coming in for nothing, nothing but the retailer’s hope that you’ll stick around and buy stuff at full price, like an idiot.
- You Don’t Really Want This Crap – Even if you do score what you came for, they’re probably not actually the things you want. They’re what you’ll settle for. You’ve had your eye on a Garmin with voice command or a Samsung with LED backlighting, but they’re not on sale. So you suck it up and instead buy the more gimped Garmin (or even a TomTom) or the Samsung with the crappier contrast CCFL backlight. You can’t justify buying the top product when the step-down is so insanely discounted. Black Friday has totally removed the satisfaction of researching a particular product and buying it because you really want it.
- Seasonal Employees are Idiots – Every holiday season, retailers hire fresh meat to work for a month or two to help handle the rise in demand. Guess what? They don’t train them very well and these seasonal workers could give a shit about the company they’re working for. Bad combo! When you’re trying to buy something expensive like an HDTV, you want to ask questions from someone who both knows what they’re talking about and at least has a mild interest in you having a positive experience. Seasonal employees provide neither of these things.
- You’re Poor – Seriously, what are you doing buying this stuff anyway? You don’t have any savings, you live paycheck to paycheck and if you haven’t been laid off yet you probably will be soon. Just because something is cheaper than it usually is doesn’t mean you have to buy it.