Let me start by saying, I understand the origin of Black Friday, and I have nothing against how it started out, in America. What I have an issue with is how it has become something massive over here in England, where it is neither relevant or necessary for not only one day of sales, but now an entire fortnight of promised ‘savings’.
These are some of the reasons why I am not a fan of Black Friday in the UK…
It Encourages Spending
Obviously at the end of November a lot of people will be thinking of their Christmas shopping. I have, in fact, pretty much finished mine at this point, and I can see why, for some, Black Friday comes at a fantastic time to get some great deals on the things that you would have bought anyway. However, what sometimes happens is people get sucked into this mindset of a deal being ‘too good to miss’ and, before you know it, you are in debt at the worst time of year. Black Friday encourages people to spend, spend, spend in a relatively short period of time, often not giving the breathing space for somebody to really stop and think logically about the purchase they are making. Shopper remorse may leave you feeling less than festive once the Black Friday sales are over and your bank balance is looking less than healthy with only a few weeks left until Christmas.
Savings aren’t Always Legitimate
It is undeniable that there are fantastic deals to be had during Black Friday and the surrounding days. If you do your research, and go into things with a level head, you can definitely save yourself some serious money and bag a few bargains. Saying this, with everyone and their aunt jumping on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday bandwagon, it is now necessary to wade through all the offers to find those that are actually offering a true saving. Some retailers have been known to increase their prices in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, so that they can then ‘slash’ them back down to what they were beforehand, seemingly providing a bargain, but without actually decreasing the RRP of the item. Plus, be aware of deals that involve minimum spends or high postage costs, as you may not be making the saving you think you are once these have been taken into account.
It Can Negatively Impact Mental Health
This mindset of needing to spend, and not wanting to ‘miss out’ on the deals, even if you don’t really have the money to shop can be extremely damaging to mental health at a time of year when many are already more fragile than they might be during the lighter, warmer months. Shopping Addiction was recently recognised as a mental illness, and it is a triggering time for those who do have a tendency to shop more than is necessary. I find my anxiety going into overdrive around Black Friday, as I am drawn in by adverts for items that I would love, but really aren’t in my budget at this time of year, and I can imagine the effect it can have on somebody who does spend and is filled with regret afterwards.
Do you like Black Friday here in the UK? Would you prefer retailers just stuck to the one day rather than spreading the deals out over a week or more?