By Omair Ali
It’s almost that time of the year, when thousands of people flock to stores, hoping to cash in on a bunch of discounted goods. But Black Friday shopping can be disappointing, as most deals operate on a first-come first-serve and leave many wishful shoppers with very slim pickings. The sad truth is, far too many people become beguiled by the glamorous but misleading promises that clever stores have to offer, as businesses reap the fruits of hysterical consumerism.
The consumer plague known as Black Friday shopping first infects all of us through the form of e-mails, commercials, and print ads. Then, the plague proceeds as millions of people are compelled to prepare for the shopping ritual as they scout for the most enticing deals. And once 6 PM on Thanksgiving arrives, people are already scrambling into some stores as they look for their desired things. Then comes the midnight shopping spree, where store entrances are lined with droves of people that are competing for the same items.
I’ve taken a couple of glances at how crazy Black Friday shopping through my own experiences of late Black Friday shopping, but I have never actually experienced the insanity that lies moments after the opening of the store’s doors. But I can picture this vulgar, primal excitement within the crowd, as well as the bloodthirstiness that shrouds the hungriest of the shoppers with the insatiable intent to capture the object of their predation, be it a new television set, a toaster, or a brand new set of briefs.
As a casual gamer, I really enjoy the Black Friday deals as they give me a chance to stock up on games and accessories for the holiday season without exceeding my holiday budget. Last year was quite possibly my best experience as a shopper, when I searched for the best XBOX One deal that my money could buy. As I desperately searched for in-store deals, I sulked at the sight of deals that were either too good to last through the end of Black Friday or just weren’t worth the price.
However, I found an online deal that was much better than most in-store deals, and it didn’t require me to sit and wait for the “e-doors” to open (yes, these exist). That’s right folks, I found an amazing deal that didn’t have me pressed for time, didn’t require me to leave my house, and was well worth the cost. And if you do enough digging online, you can also be a winner on Black Friday!
The National Retail Federation estimates that 137.4 million people will participate or consider participating in shopping during this weekend, 74% of which indicated that Black Friday is the day when they would shop. Therefore, this is not a day for Black Friday goers nor retail employees to take lightly. My advice for all of you potential Black Friday shoppers is simply this: If there are things you absolutely need to buy around this time of year, and you know for a fact that dozens of others aren’t gunning for the same things, then give in-store Black Friday shopping a go. But for all of you that are inspired to grab that $200, 50-inch television, my advice is to stay away from that deal and find deals either online or during Cyber Monday. while the herd goes on a frenzy, you could make the wise choice to stay back and spend time with family, friends, or your community!
And I can’t forget about our retail employees. Each year, my heart goes out to the brave soldiers that defend their stores as they allow the invasion of an army of hungry shoppers to proceed year after year and endure hardships that have even lead to death. And consumer projects suggest that the consumer craze won’t necessary diminish this year. I hope your store manager has a riot shield or two to spare as you face the annual calamity of societal materialism.