Refusing to Conform: Why I’m Not Shopping on Black Friday

Black Friday Flock

21 Nov Refusing to Conform: Why I’m Not Shopping on Black Friday

Black Friday FlockAll across America, there are two groups of people gearing up for Black Friday. Those who can’t wait to check out the deals, and those who want nothing to do with it and are planning to stay home.

Group A: Black Friday Junkies

These are the people who live for finding deals. If it’s on sale, their heartbeat raises, their skin gets flushed, and they start pacing across the room three days before the sale actually starts. In their mind, if it’s on sale they’re winning. Just by not paying full price for something, they feel like they’re coming out on top.

You know the store receipts that say how much money you saved? Those are like trophies to Black Friday Junkies. They’re badges of honor like combat stripes on a soldier’s uniform.

Group B: Black Friday Haters

These people have a plan. Their plan is written down in their monthly budget. They couldn’t care less if something is on sale. If they weren’t already planning to buy it in the first place, the sale doesn’t save them any money. It’s just reducing the amount of extra money they would have to spend to buy the item.

This group of people also prefers to avoid large crowds. No surprise since they avoid Black Friday like the plague. They’d rather pick shopping times that fit their schedule. They only go shopping when they have a list of things to get. If they see anything that’s not on the list, they ain’t budging no matter how much the item is discounted.

Bad Black Friday Experiences

I generally fall in the latter group. I don’t necessarily hate Black Friday but I definitely don’t love it. The last few times I’ve gone shopping on Black Friday seemed to be a waste of time. The stores were overcrowded. The advertised deals were for a select few items with a severely limited inventory.

And what items were available were not the greatest quality. Even when there were a few quality items on sale, the sale prices were about the same as the normal price was a few months prior. I’m not calling shenanigans but there’s definitely something going on there.

The Black Friday Cycle

This isn’t just one experience with Black Friday. It’s pretty much every time I shop on Black Friday. I go in and I get burned. I wind up buying nothing because everything is so picked over and crowded, and there really aren’t very good deals. I guess I just don’t see the value in the whole experience.

So goes the cycle. They lure you in with promises of insanely low prices. Then, while you’re there, they get you to buy a bunch of other stuff you didn’t need, just because you got caught up in the frenzy. In days past stores actually put good items on sale to kick off the Christmas shopping season. Today they use more and more gimmicky sales to get you in the door.

I personally want nothing of it. I’ll stay at home and get some sleep. Then I’ll take the family to a football game. And then on Saturday I might actually brave the stores to get some things I actually need for some projects around the house. All while avoiding the crowds and chaos.

Readers, do you look forward to Black Friday or avoid it? Why?


  • Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter
    Posted at 14:21h, 28 November

    I avoided it completely. I wasn’t in the market for a tv or laptop deal, so we just didn’t shop. It worked out well since I just visited family instead. 🙂

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 07:13h, 29 November

      We ended up taking advantage of some Cyber Monday deals on items we were already planning to buy and had money saved up for. We had been watching the items for a while so we knew if they were actually good deals or not.

  • W @ Off-Road Finance
    Posted at 11:54h, 30 November

    The crowds on black Friday make shopping all but infeasible. Unless you place next to no value on your time, it’s probably one of the worst times of the year to go shopping.

    It seems likely I’ll buy most of my stuff via Amazon and the like this year. The saved time is well worth it.

  • Mark
    Posted at 11:23h, 07 December

    Thank you for saying this. I lost interest in the fiasco a few years ago. I could never understand why it was so appealing. To me the 5-hour wait in the cold was not worth the $100 savings. And that’s only if you were buying something big. Cyber monday is picking up though. I would love to see America switch to this day instead.

  • The Money Mail Carnival – Sixth Edition
    Posted at 08:29h, 15 December

    […] @ Living in Financial Excellence writes Refusing to Conform: Why I Am Not Shopping on Black Friday – All across America, there are two groups of people gearing up for Black Friday. Those who […]