Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day: Which Do You Choose?

8 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, kicks off the traditional holiday retail season. Stores and malls are focused on attracting shoppers with extensive “bust-the-doors” sales that offer dramatically discounted products, especially toys and electronics.

Major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Toys R Us all offer significant bargains to customers who line up the night before to  run in stores at the crack of dawn (stores open their doors as early as 4 AM).

For example, Target is offering a Tom Tom XL340S GPS navigational system for a mere $97 - more than 50% discounted from the $250 retail price. Best Buy has a Toshiba 16-inch notebook for $400 and Microsoft Xbox 360 with 6 free games for $300.

Some stores even offer additional incentives such as gift cards to a certain number of customers who are the first to enter the store.

A variety of online resources (for example, Deal Taker and Black Friday 2009) is devoted to Black Friday sales. Sometimes, blogs and websites will vie for the opportunity to “leak” information about anticipated items that would be available at particular stores.

“Black Friday”, so named because the day after Thanksgiving is the day from which many retailers begin to operate “in the black”, or turn a profit, for the first time in a year. Some stores have tried to put their own spin on the day. K-mart is calling their sales day “Blue Friday”, according to Alexis Stogdhill of BV On Money.

Recently, however, some people have expressed a distaste for such an openly consumerist day. In 2008, a security guard was trampled to death at a Wal-Mart opening, when 2,000 shoppers surged into the store. Many blamed Wal-Mart’s lack of adequate planning for the tragedy.

As Shawanda Green of You Have More Than You Think said, “With all the talk of Black Friday, it seems we skip right over Thanksgiving and shift our focus sharply to Christmas. We treat Thanksgiving like it’s the opening act for Black Friday.”

To protest against the consumerism of Black Friday, some people have begun to celebrate the day as Buy Nothing Day, a concept originated in Vancouver in November 1992.  According to Buynothingday.org, the day is “your special day to unshop, unspend and unwind. Relax and do nothing for the economy and for yourself - at least for a single day.”

Katy from the Non Consumer Advocate blog wrote, “I will not be participating in any AdBuster activities, and I can most likely be found the day after Thanksgiving up on Mount Hood with my kids. Enjoying home cooked meals with my family and going on some snowy hikes.”

Some people treat Black Friday as Black Friday as day to bargain-hunt and crowd-crunch, while others view it as a day to simply relax after the biggest meal they’ve had all year. As for me, I stayed up too late to watch a movie, fell asleep, and didn’t wake up until the sun was squarely in the sky. Though I was tempted by a Target deal (Nikon Coolpix camera for $88), I ultimately choose sleep over shopping.

What did you do for Black Friday?

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, kicks off the traditional holiday retail season. Stores and malls are focused on attracting shoppers with extensive “bust-the-doors” sales that offer dramatically discounted products, especially toys and electronics.

Major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Toys R Us all offer significant bargains to customers who line up the night before to  run in stores at the crack of dawn (stores open their doors as early as 4 AM).

For example, Target is offering a Tom Tom XL340S GPS navigational system for a mere $97 - more than 50% discounted from the $250 retail price. Best Buy has a Toshiba 16-inch notebook for $400 and Microsoft Xbox 360 with 6 free games for $300.

Some stores even offer additional incentives such as gift cards to a certain number of customers who are the first to enter the store.

A variety of online resources (for example, Deal Taker and Black Friday 2009) is devoted to Black Friday sales. Sometimes, blogs and websites will vie for the opportunity to “leak” information about anticipated items that would be available at particular stores.

“Black Friday”, so named because the day after Thanksgiving is the day from which many retailers begin to operate “in the black”, or turn a profit, for the first time in a year. Some stores have tried to put their own spin on the day. K-mart is calling their sales day “Blue Friday”, according to Alexis Stogdhill of BV On Money.

Recently, however, some people have expressed a distaste for such an openly consumerist day. In 2008, a security guard was trampled to death at a Wal-Mart opening, when 2,000 shoppers surged into the store. Many blamed Wal-Mart’s lack of adequate planning for the tragedy.

As Shawanda Green of You Have More Than You Think said, “With all the talk of Black Friday, it seems we skip right over Thanksgiving and shift our focus sharply to Christmas. We treat Thanksgiving like it’s the opening act for Black Friday.”

To protest against the consumerism of Black Friday, some people have begun to celebrate the day as Buy Nothing Day, a concept originated in Vancouver in November 1992.  According to Buynothingday.org, the day is “your special day to unshop, unspend and unwind. Relax and do nothing for the economy and for yourself - at least for a single day.”

Katy from the Non Consumer Advocate blog wrote, “I will not be participating in any AdBuster activities, and I can most likely be found the day after Thanksgiving up on Mount Hood with my kids. Enjoying home cooked meals with my family and going on some snowy hikes.”

Some people treat Black Friday as Black Friday as day to bargain-hunt and crowd-crunch, while others view it as a day to simply relax after the biggest meal they’ve had all year. As for me, I stayed up too late to watch a movie, fell asleep, and didn’t wake up until the sun was squarely in the sky. Though I was tempted by a Target deal (Nikon Coolpix camera for $88), I ultimately choose sleep over shopping.

What did you do for Black Friday?

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