Is It Worth It?

I usually participate in shopping on Black Friday – you know, that insane shopping day the day after Thanksgiving.  Yes, I am one of those crazy people that has gotten up at 3 am to get to the stores, but for what…to save a buck?  I have to admit, I am not usually the person that saves a ton of money; at least nothing I couldn’t have saved shopping that same afternoon.  I avoid the electronics department completely – that’s just a surefire way to be trampled to death.  A lot of the “super deals” they have are NOT items on my list.  So is it really a deal if you are spending on something you weren’t going to buy in the first place?  I don’t think so.  But now, more than ever, I am re-thinking the whole idea.  I suggest you do too….here’s why:

Last year I received my BEST deal ever.  It was for the purchase of a laptop.  I got it on Thanksgiving Day….ONLINE.  That’s right.  No need to fight crowds in a store.  No need to get up in the middle of the night (even though I still did).  No need for all that headache!  It was right there, online.  I simply logged in to Best Buy’s website right after Thanksgiving dinner and purchased it.  Then went back to spending time with my family — The most important reason for Thanksgiving.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

So, why do I shop on this terror of all shopping days?  After all, the Black Friday events for me the past three years haven’t really been all that lucrative.  And now, I am starting to see a different side of Black Friday.  Greed.  I’ve always known it is there.  I’ve seen it in battles in the aisles at Walmart – a place I now refuse to go on Black Friday.  But honestly, other than changing my shopping methods, I never gave it much thought until I read an article online the other day.  It seems many retail employees are told that if they don’t work on Black Friday, then they will lose their jobs.  Sure that may seem like no big deal to a teenager at their first job.  But for a middle-age man or woman, who had to face the unfortunate cutbacks our economy has seen recently, it can be a serious consequence.  These men and women may rely on these meager jobs to feed their family.  They have to take the threat of losing money that keeps a roof over their head seriously.  How is that fair?  And as if it weren’t bad enough when they had to prepare for work at 2 am for the 3 am shopping crowds, this year some retailers are announcing that they will open their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving Day.  MIDNIGHT!  So what does that mean for these employees?  They have to leave their families early on Thanksgiving day to get in a nap so they can report to work at 11 pm – or whatever time is demaned of them.  That’s greed.  Corporate Greed.  Are people really going to buy less products at 5 am than they would at midnight?  I doubt it.  Are people really going to stop shopping at certain stores, because they are going to open at sunrise instead of opening during the witching hour?  I doubt it.  No…instead, people like me may not shop in their store at all this year due to the greed I have finally opened my eyes to.  Forcing hard working employees to sacrifice their holiday so their company can make a buck.  It’s sad.

So no, I will NOT run out to shop at midnight this year.  I was contemplating my usual 3 am – 5 am jaunt, but now I am reconsidering that as well.  If a retailer wants my money, they will do better to sell their merchandise to me online.

Please help make a stand against this greed.  Please visit  Change.org and sign their petition.  Perhaps by changing one store, we can have a big enough impact to change them all!

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