Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. It is a day that most people have off work and can use to start, work on or complete their Christmas shopping. Because Black Friday has always been such a lucrative sales day, many retailers attempt to draw shoppers away from their competition by providing ridiculously low prices on things that people want for the holidays, especially toys and electronics. For these reasons, it can be a great day to shop.
Unfortunately, there is also a dark side to Black Friday. It is the side that retailers try to minimize, but it is there, in the shadows nonetheless. With that many sales, and incomes at a low, people will go to great lengths to obtain the gifts that they want to buy for their loved ones. These lengths are not always 100% honest, nor are they always peaceful. People are often hurt in the rush to get the best gifts at rock bottom prices, sometimes even killed. Fights break out between people who think that their need for some electronic gadget or toy is greater than that of another. People use pepper spray to get a game system to go under their family’s Christmas tree. People have even been trampled to death in the rush to get to these sales. Things can get very ugly on Black Friday.
As the years go by, and stores get more competitive, they have also started to cut into the Thanksgiving holiday, leaving little time to spend with your family and loved ones. The stores continue to open earlier and earlier. Those people who wish to get a jump on many of the sales will actually camp in parking lots waiting for the stores to open as early as Thanksgiving morning. It has ruined that sense of family that once was the biggest part of Thanksgiving, making Black Friday an even bigger event than the holiday itself. Even those who stay home and eat their Thanksgiving feast are often quick to run out the door after the meal just to wait in line until the stores open. These lines can get astronomically long, often winding around buildings and shopping centers.
In many cases, the sales are not as good as they once were either. The stores create an illusion of scarcity which causes the mob mentality that causes many to flock to the stores, but rarely are there but a few deals that are truly worth the wait. There are times when you may find a television for a song, or a toy that your child has been wanting, but rarely do you find any truly out of this world deals. Most of those that you do find have such limited quantities that you practically do have to camp out the day before for them, usually in the cold.
In the end, the cons may outweigh the pros when it comes to shopping on Black Friday. The stores may try to minimize the incidents that happen, but there are many instances of violence, even if not all of them are reported nationally. There are very few items that are really on sale as cheaply as most people would like. Waiting out in the cold on a day that you are supposed to spend with your family is not fun. All of these add up to make shopping on Black Friday something that you may be better off just to skip.