Is It Possible to Completely Avoid Black Friday?

by Jason Unger

People at Shopping Mall

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and by the time you read this, you’ll know whether or not you bought anything.

There’s a certain thrill most of us get when we buy things. But, if you’re anything like me, there’s also a high chance of buyer’s remorse (and I don’t buy too much stuff I don’t need. Anymore.).

When it comes to this time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of Black Friday; how much money you’ll save, what great stuff you’re going to get, and how much fun you’ll have with it. It’s really easy to go along with the crowd and buy things for the sake of buying them.

You’re not immune from it (and neither am I).

The best thing you can do when you’re really trying to save money or get out of debt or cut down on the amount of stuff you have is to avoid Black Friday as much as possible. But is it really possible?

Let’s consider three things:

  1. Black Friday is all over TV. There are reporters stationed at Best Buy and Wal-Mart early in the morning to show the long lines and people shopping.
  2. It’s even worse online. Daily emails from Amazon, deals across Twitter and roundups of price breaks seem to be everywhere.
  3. Don’t even consider going to the mall. Black Friday is not the day to go mall walking or be anywhere near a store. You won’t make it out without buying something.

So what does the leave us to do? Basically, unplug from all media and spend time away from stores. It’s not impossible to do at all (I do it once a week, every week), but Black Friday is definitely difficult to avoid.

For three ways to avoid the hype, check out my story from last year.

How do you avoid Black Friday? Let me know in a comment.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Wojciech Kulicki November 28, 2009 at 1:34 am

I completely hear you–when you’re a techno-geek like me, it’s hard to avoid all the sales flying around the TV and especially the Web. Your instincts kick in and you just want to buy everything.

To resist temptation, I just refuse to spend any money on Black Friday–not even for groceries or gas. I just put away the wallet for the day. I tell myself that if I need something that badly, I can afford to pay more for it a month from now. It might not be “smart,” because there are some deals out there, but it keeps me from spending a lot of money unnecessarily.

Lee D December 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I’m with Wojciech. I just say no.

Josh Allen December 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I disagree. If you stay focused and only buy what you need it can be a productive day. I was at the mall by 4AM, got only what I needed, saved a ton of money, and was back in bed by 5:30AM.

Jason Unger December 8, 2009 at 12:23 pm

@Josh – what did you end up buying? And was it significantly marked down from earlier in the week?

Josh Allen December 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I purchased a down comforter and some bath towels (exciting I know) which were marked down about 60% each. In total I saved about $120.

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