Black Friday. Where does this day of craze and rock bottom price tags come from?
The first claim is dated way back to the 1960’s when Philadelphia police officers dubbed the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” because of the chaos in the streets. People from all over were coming to kick off their Christmas shopping and take advantage of the good deals. Some also say that it has to do with retail stores turning a massive profit on this day, going from being in the “red” to being in the “black”. (Learn more about Black Friday here.)
Either way, South Africans have adopted this day of the year, giving the silly season a proper welcome.
If you follow me or know anything about me, you’ll have come to find that I am not the biggest fan of excess, fast fashion or clever marketing tactics. I was not hyped or phased by Black Friday at all, in fact, I avoided the Somerset Mall as best I could. Did my husband and I take part (and advantage) of the great deals available? Well yes, we did. But if I could explain the difference between the way we did it and the feeling I get when I see people pushing and screaming, huffing and puffing until Game’s doors came cracking down.
I have decided to group the different types of consumers I have watched on phone recorded videos and news feeds to make more sense of this insane day. Bare with me…my findings are as follows.
1. Along for the ride.
These are the people who have fallen for the clever marketing and sales strategy behind this day. They get hyped up and join the crowd as people start to gather before midnight to get their hands on any deal really. They are the ones who don’t plan on buying anything, they just want to check out the fuss but then walk out with deals they just could not resist. In my research I found many people confessing that if it were any other day of the year, they wouldn’t dream of buying what they bought, they wouldn’t be prepared to save for it. Essentially, Black Friday was the reason for their exploding shopping trolleys. Buying things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, as seen below.
2. The planners.
This is me and my husband. We knew exactly what we needed, and been needing for a long time. We needed a casserole pot as well as coffee mugs. Because I am all about quality over quantity, I urged my husband that we wait until we have enough money to buy a quality pot that could last generations as well as mugs that wouldn’t chip and crack after a few months causing us to spend money again. He decided that “Black Friday” was a good way of getting what we needed and getting some discount on it. So he surprised me with these items and it also doubled as an early birthday present. We didn’t fall for any marketing schemes that drew us closer, instead went right for what we needed and didn’t buy excess while doing so.
3. The actual customer.
This person is someone who has little money, a big family to feed and support and has to make it happen somehow. They are the ones that will elbow you out of the way for a jumbo pack of diapers because they know that the little person at home is counting on them. These people are the ones who I feel buy smart because they know what they have, don’t have and desperately need. Why then not save up a little for Black Friday, save some well earned money on essential items and have a joy-filled holiday season?
My conclusion…We need to be sure what in this world is leading our happiness. Are we feeling content after a massive shop where we get to bring trillions of things home that we don’t need but found absolute pleasure in buying them on a great deal? Or do you also feel that sense of, “Shucks, I went overboard and allowed my eyes to feast, and my “wants” to lead me to debt and excess!”
Don’t let consumerism become your trademark. Choose well and buy less, you’re life will feel lighter and you’ll have more space for the important things.
Happy planning, Jessica. x
Photo content by Local Truth Photography