Black Friday is a relatively new phenomenon. It came to the UK from the US and is now a feature of the lead up to Christmas. It seems like ever other TV advert at the moment is pushing a Black Friday deal. I can honestly say I will not be grabbing any black Friday deals this year.
In April this year I read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. It lived up to it’s promise of being life changing! I was so inspired that I’ve spent 2016 embracing the idea of living with less. I’ve been on a mission to edit back our possession to only the things that we use or love. I have got rid of an incredible amount of stuff! I have filled the massive boot of our people carrier car about three times over with things to donate to charity. This included books, clothes, baby items, toys, jewelry, stationery, cosmetics, kitchen and household items. I have thrown away or recycled a similar amount of stuff.
My decluttering mission has made such a big difference to my house. It looks so much better. I spend way less time cleaning and tidying. I find it quite calming to have less stuff to deal with. The process has really made me think about stuff in a completely different way. I’m now so much more selective about what I buy.
You didn’t know you wanted this!
Having started to live in a more minimalist way the idea of Black Friday really isn’t my cup of tea. I think the hyping of mega deals tries to tempt us into buying stuff that we don’t want or need. I’m sure that we have all bought things because we were seduced by a big discount or special offer. Some of the items that I got rid of when I was decluttering were sales bargains. There were lots of items that I had bought purely because they were cheap but that I ended up never using.
I should probably say that we are by no means made of money! Having three kids is definitely stretching us financially. If I had a big purchase to make, like a new washing machine, I might wait until Black Friday to see if I could save some money. However I wonder how many Black Friday bargains are things people weren’t planning to buy before they walked into the shops. I now think that something is only a good deal if you get a discount on something that you were going to buy anyway. I used to roll my eyes when my mum said that the best bargain is not buying anything at all. When it comes to sales shopping I am officially turning into my mum and leaving the bargains on the shelf!
Is Black Friday really cheaper?
I’m always a bit suspicious of whether the Black Friday offers are really bargains (I worked in retail as a student so have seen a few tricks of the trade!). The consumer organisation Which has carried out some research that shows that Black Friday deals are not all they seem Which analysed 178 Black Friday deals from 2015. It found that the Black Friday price was not the cheapest price that an item has been sold for in 50% of the items. 90 of the 178 products looked at were cheaper or the same price on other days.
Black Friday is often marketed as a one day only opportunity. In a way it rushes you into buying things before you’ve thought your purchases. However Which found that just 8% of the so called Black Friday deals were one day only offers. It all feels like the hype around this shopping day tries to trick us into thinking that offers are better than they really are. The full information from Which is published here ‘Misleading’ Black Friday Deals.
Hand to hand fighting
Seeing people fighting and shouting over discounted stuff is just horrible! There were people last year who were injured in Black Friday scrambles. Police had to be called to control crowds at sales related incidents. There is nothing that would make me wrestle with someone over a flat screen TV. It seems really weird that Black Friday is the day after the US celebration of Thanksgiving. How can you go from being grateful for what you have to rushing out and scrambling to get more?
Tomorrow I’m going to be hanging out with my kiddos and staying well away from the Black Friday shopping frenzy.