Black Friday?

* disclaimer: this blogpost contains my own opinions, that not everyone will like. You read on at your own peril. *

So it's Black Friday this week, is it?
For anybody over 45 or with a better than average grasp on how their bank account works, this is a daft name for the annual event that takes place in the USA the day after Thanksgiving, when folks generally have a day off work and can take the time to do their Christmas shopping. No?


A few years ago, this "phenomenon" was advertised by some keen entrepreneur in the UK as Black Friday, when - for one day only - it 'appears' that people can save huge amounts of money, when in fact they are being tricked into spending huge amounts of money.

I'll explain.

Person A has a budget - say - of £300 to spend on gifts for Christmas, a list of who to buy for and what to buy, you go out and get these things, wrap them up and sit back. Done.

On the other hand, Person B knows they want to get some gifts for Christmas, and a list of who to buy for. They might even have a rough idea of how much they'd like to spend.
But on Black Friday they can get more for their money. 
Can't they?
Instead of buying a modest gift set like Person A for one of their gifts, by paying just £3.99 more, they can get the SuperSize one! KerChing!!
And why pay £10 for one toy when for £15 you can get two?? That child will get two toys this year! Yay!! (Does this mean the poor worker in China who made it gets less money, or is the quality not as good... And if the child had one toy they played with and enjoyed isn't that better than a room full they just don't 'see'....)

Person B ends up spending more money.
Black Friday 'deals' aren't really deals. 
Shock, horror!

We know a young chap who went out on one Black Friday, bought a huge TV for £1200, 
then said he had 'saved' £600.

I didn't understand how spending out £1200 equalled saving, because saving is 'not' spending money, isn't it?

Now forgive me if I'm wrong, but; have I got this thing totally wrong?

Is Black Friday just another way of getting people to spend out more money?
Like Halloween?
Am I in danger of being a bah humbug?

Your comments on this are particularly welcome!

Tracey x


  1. Totally agree. The only time I would use this is if I needed something, had the money for it, had researched it and chosen what I wanted and thought 'wait till Black Friday in case it is cheaper somewhere on that day'. Ditto with Cyber Monday.
    J x

  2. I agree with you 100%. I am in US and for years was lucky enough to have Black Friday off but I didn't go out for the sales. I used the day after Thanksgiving to sleep in a little bit and then work on my Christmas decorating. By Saturday afternoon I was usually all done and could relax on Sunday. Two years in a row, back in the 1990s in fact, I did go out about 10 AM on Black Friday to take advantage of the fact that the year #1 the store in question had fleece jackets, mittens and hats I was already planning on getting my family that year were on markdown for the day. I got ONLY what I had originally planned on getting and did save. Year #2 same store, I went out about 10 AM and took advantage of the markdown on night clothes (jammies, slippers, bathrobes) and got exactly what I had originally planned for that year's gifts. Those were the ONLY 2 years I went out and haven't since. Now I work for a company that manages retail properties (shopping malls) and we are required to be in our office on Black Friday 'in support of the merchants'. And now with the trend to actually open on Thanksgiving Day, we have one of our office staff who agreed to come in Thanksgiving evening at 6 PM to work until 1 AM and I will work in the office on Friday by myself all day. We can't conduct actual business because our corporate office is going to close at noon today and be closed the entire holiday weekend. But us lucky worker bees that work in the regional mall offices get to sit here and help the information center answer the phones all day with inquires about what time the mall is open to, is Santa there, blah blah blah. While it is a requirement of my employment that we are here Black Friday (but don't actually get any work done whatsoever), I wish I could have the day off again, just to be able to get my Christmas decorating done!!!

  3. Yes you're right! Am with you! It's an encouragement to spend what you can't really afford. I certainly don't want to waste money this close to Christmas on things I can do without!

  4. It's all totally nuts and I won't be spending anything on Black,Purple,red yellow or green Friday!

  5. I live in the U.S. and don't shop that day. If I was going to buy a computer or smart tv this is the day to buy one. I feel you are only saving if you were going to buy the item in the first place. My dd who is 22 goes every year, I told her to have a list and only buy what she was going to anyway. Some people love to go and just watch people and some shouldn't be allowed out because they have no control. Cheryl

  6. Ahhh for someone else the penny droppath. Of course tis another money making scam, but hey as long as folk like us nutters who don't get drawn in are ok then all is ok with moi m'dear.

  7. It is one big marketing ploy - Which did a study looking at Black Friday offers and found 'Only 8% of the Black Friday deals we looked at were one-day-only offers, where Black Friday was cheaper than any other day in those five months.' I think if you have a list of things you would have bought anyway and you check the price on the day against a price tracker to work out if is actually a good deal or not it is worth shopping, otherwise it is not. It's pretty rubbish too how it has meant that some people in America have to work on Thanksgiving like anonymous above :(

  8. I feel it is a con too, especially after hearing on the radio how a person had followed the price of an item he wanted. He said that it had steadily risen over the last few weeks, to drop back to the original price today. A bargain....I don't think so!
    Kim x

  9. There is a video doing the rounds on Facebook at an electronics retailer - they have loads of yellow price sheets to show the special offer. The person videoing has lifted up the plastic cover and then the yellow price sheet and underneath is the original price and all of them are lower than the 'offer'.
    It's a scam and more people are getting wise to it.

    DS is at Uni and he messaged me last night asking to buy a computer game he saw advertised at £40 (from £80). He has vouchers to use from last Xmas (he is a tightwad!!). This morning I looked and the item is £49 - DS is adamant it was advertised as £40.
    I did the retail price check and I know that the same game was £58 at the start of Nov, increasing to £65 2 weeks ago and then to £85 last week.
    As the price is likely to rise before Xmas I ordered it for him but made sure he knew that £85 was not actually the original price but he was saving £9 compared to the start of the month.

    I have also ordered DD some jumpers from a trendy clothing store, I managed to get a 50% off code. She always needs jumpers but these will be wrapped for xmas.

    Other than that I am not interested in Black Friday/ Black Friday week.

  10. I only buy what I need when I need it. I do not have the inclination to waste my money or the space to store impulse buys.

  11. I live in the US and at one time I was pulled into the Black Friday Craziness. No more! I do like you and buy a few things here and there all year. I used to spend days baking but no one ate all of the stuff and it was tossed out. Now I only make a few special things that I know will be eaten. Keep up the good work and the good advice. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!


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