What turns ordinary shoppers into dangerous mobs? The year's single most popular shopping holiday: Black Friday.
The retail bonanza is a cash cow for retailers, often drawing crowds of thousands of shoppers hungry for the year's hottest deals. But while it's easy to be tempted by the sales, the big, red discount stickers, and the endless promises of savings on Black Friday, the reality is that it's actually one of the worst days to shop — and we're becoming more and more aware of it.
As we're bombarded by the message to “spend, spend, spend!” everywhere we turn, we're become so increasingly frustrated with the holiday shopping rush that nearly 70 % of millennials say they want to do away with Black Friday altogether, according to research from social media company The Tylt.
In response, many people are deciding to “cancel” this hyper-consumerism trend and instead avoid spending during this time. Those who decide to take on this "Black Friday ban" in turn ignore consumerism, avoid dangerous crowds, and save money. Here are seven reasons you should consider a ban on Black Friday shopping, too.
It encourages overspending
Doesn't Black Friday kind of defeat the purpose of trying to save money when you're impulse buying everything that's on sale? Most shoppers haven't read the reviews, compared prices, or even really thought about if they want the products they purchase on Black Friday.
Instead, we wander through stores in a daze, hopped up on adrenaline and caffeine, buying everything with a discount sticker slapped on it. Hey, we're all guilty of it, but maybe it's time we all realize that — unless we're super strict with ourselves and strategic with what we buy — we're not actually saving any money with Black Friday deals, we're overspending it.
The fight to secure a good deal has actually cost people their lives. According to the website Black Friday Death Count, 12 people have died and 117 have been injured in Black Friday-related accidents since 2006. With overcrowded malls and overhyped early-morning doorbusters, dangers including stampedes, fights, and falling asleep at the wheel while driving home from shopping due to lack of sleep are all too real. Plus, it's 2019 — haven't we all heard of online shopping by now, whether it be for Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
The deals aren't worth it
Generally speaking, Black Friday deals just aren't worth it. You can often find some of the most popular Black Friday products at lower prices at other times during the year. Pro tip: a lot of the merchandise you see that's "on sale" during Black Friday isn't actually on sale.
It's true! While there may be several items in a store that are legitimately a bargain, some stores mark up their products just before the holidays so that they can advertise "big sales," when, in reality, they're just marking down items back to their normal price.
It's no longer the biggest sale of the year
Black Friday used to be the day that kicked off the holiday-shopping season, but that's not the case anymore. Over the last few years, it has turned into a week-long affair ending in Cyber Monday, another shopping extravaganza that proves itself as a cash cow for retailers everywhere. You can also find better deals the closer you get to Christmas. Toys, for example, are at their cheapest about nine days before Christmas Day.
It's no longer a one-day affair
Like we said, many stores begin Black Friday deals weeks before American Thanksgiving and continue through to Cyber Monday, oftentimes with discounts that rival those of the "doorbusters" day. Therefore, Friday isn't necessarily the best day to shop, despite what the crowds may tell you. You can go on Thursday or Saturday and the deals will be the exact same.
It keeps families from spending time together
The holidays are all about family time, right? Not if Mom's throwing elbows in Hudson's Bay and your sister has been in line since 5 am to buy two-for-one lipsticks at Mac. Deals come and go (literally all year), but if your family only gets together every few months, your time is probably better spent with them instead.
Stores sell the same thing online
If, after all that, you're still a dedicated bargain hunter and absolutely have to shop the best deals this Black Friday season, try Cyber Monday instead. The deals are the same, most stores participate, and you can avoid the hordes of shoppers trampling over each other at your local mall. There's a reason why 71 % of millennials prefer Cyber Monday over Black Friday.
In the end, if you aren't sure whether you should listen to your inner shopaholic or stay strong and invoke a Black Friday ban, ask yourself, are the deals really enticing enough to make you want to face the crowds and drain your bank account? They shouldn't be.
Instead of giving in to the "spend, spend, spend" mentality of the holiday shopping season, download mobile apps that keep track of your expenses, encourage intelligent spending, and help you really save on the products you love.
And with apps like Paytm Canada, it's almost too easy to be money smart. Paytm allows you to pay your bills directly from your smartphone AND earn points that can be redeemed for makeup, books, athletic wear, electronics, and more! And you don't have to elbow your way through crowds to redeem them, either.
Every transaction that you make with Paytm will earn you Paytm Points ($1 = 1 Paytm Point) that you can redeem at any time of the year — not just on Black Friday. Best of all, these points can be used at big-name stores like Indigo, lululemon, Sephora, and Best Buy, just to name a few. All you have to do is download the iPhone or Google Play app and pay your bills like you normally would with a credit or debit card, your linked bank account or Paytm cash.
And if you download the app today, you’ll collect 2,000 welcome points just for signing up and verifying your account. If you refer a friend, you’ll both get 5,000 points (which is basically a free $5 e-gift card) when they pay their first bill.
With Paytm, you don't have to wait for Black Friday deals to get the things you love. You can earn them for free just by managing and paying your bill in the app, which will help you save money in the long run!