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Black Friday: Is it really worth it?

Posted on 11.22.2011

Cartoon by Abby Gross

As we draw closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have one particular day that most people look forward to: Black Friday. This is a day when we get into the long lines, wait in the extreme cold and get into the store with the best deals. These deals could be prices cut in half, or they could have very little effect. Either way, they have just enough to make us flock to buy the product. I’ve experienced this special shopping occasion once last year, and it was one of the craziest times of any holiday season I’ve ever had.

I’m all for getting something for a good price, and I am quite the bargain shopper. But the people who want that new Apple product or new video game on Black Friday will plow through anything and anyone in their path, and it’s frightening. By the time I approached the section I was looking for, everything that was a good price was gone.

I wasn’t one of the customers who waited outside for three hours, though, to get my product. But I thought at least they’d have a lot of them in stock for many people to purchase it.  So is Black Friday really worth all that?

The answer to this question is both yes and no.

There are some items that if they were priced significantly lower would make me participate in Black Friday in a heartbeat.  However, I don’t want to get something that is only reduced by $10 when it was originally $200, because that really wouldn’t make much difference.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Black Friday because I feel like the stores don’t have that much of what I’m looking for and it’s gone by the time I get to it. I can see why people like going to this, because of the competitive nature of getting those clothes or that nice television set they’ve wanted, but for smaller products, I feel like there isn’t much to find.

Yes, Black Friday has its many traditions—from getting up in the middle of the night, to going out of your way to get something really cool for that special someone for Christmas—but if like me you don’t like to wake up in the middle of the night for any reason, then this isn’t necessarily the thing for you. I’d rather have the traditional outing with the parents and have everyone shop together, because I feel like Black Friday takes a lot of that tradition away.

With new products coming out, such as Apple’s iPhone 4S and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, there are going to be many opportunities at many stores for people to get these products at prices lower than the wallet-thinning originals.

What I’m waiting to see is how far the prices will drop for these items on Black Friday and if it’s worth waking up at 3 a.m. to get them.

The big winner on Black Friday, though, is not the technology,  TVs or smartphones. It’s the clothing. You can find many items for up to 80 percent off, and end up spending half of what you usually spend on a new wardrobe.

I’m sure many of you will be out after Thanksgiving, after a day full of stuffing yourselves with many helpings of food, to partake in this adventure of shopping, when some of you would rather sleep late.

Perhaps you’ll get that new book you were wanting to dive into, or a good movie to pop in for during the post-Black Friday madness. Maybe there will be better deals this year than last, which sometimes tends to happen. Let’s hope so, because I won’t be involved if there aren’t.


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