Black Friday is coming up fast — are you ready? Personally, I’m opting out of shopping in person that day (although I won’t rule out doing a little online shopping). I hate crowds, and I don’t get the day off with pay like many office workers do (I really do love freelance life, but this is one downside).
An awful lot of people will be hitting the stores that day, however. According to data from Finder, about 132 million Americans intend to shop pre-holiday sales this year, and that includes Black Friday shoppers. Americans also expect to spend an average of $708 per person.
We all know the main benefits of Black Friday shopping. Namely, you can save money by taking advantage of deep discounts on electronics, housewares, and more. But what about the lesser-known reasons to bundle up and leave your home the day after Thanksgiving? Let’s take a look at a few reasons to shop Black Friday that you may not have considered.
1. It’s entertaining
If you opt to do your holiday shopping on Black Friday, you’re guaranteed to be entertained. Think about: Big crowds of people fresh off the Thanksgiving holiday, swarming your local mall — the people watching alone is going to be superb. But aside from that, the act of shopping early on the morning of Black Friday can come with an adrenaline rush that you might sorely need after cooking, hanging out with your family, and finally falling into a food coma on the couch on Thanksgiving.
Plus, hitting the stores with your friends or family members on Black Friday gives you the chance to join forces to conquer those sales. It can be a real bonding experience, and a way to enjoy even more time with the special people in your life before you head back to your real life after the Thanksgiving weekend.
2. You get to physically handle your purchases
Online shopping has become so ubiquitous that I bet a lot of us have forgotten the feeling of going to a physical store and searching for the item you want in person. I’m guilty of leaning more on online shopping — I placed over 100 Amazon orders last year, for example. Sure, a lot of those purchases were for household goods like paper towels and cat food, but some of them were gifts for other people. If I’d opted to shop on Black Friday instead, I could have had the experience of walking out of a store with my purchase in hand, rather than impatiently waiting for it to arrive on my porch.
3. You can shop with cash
There are a lot of potential traps you could fall into by shopping on Black Friday, but perhaps the worst one is overspending. It can be easy to get swept up in the moment and buy items just for the sake of getting a deal on them. Fast forward a few weeks, and you’ve got a whopping credit card bill to deal with.
But one perk of shopping on Black Friday that you might want to lean on if you have a history of going overboard is the ability to pay for your purchases with cold, hard cash. If you know you can spend, say, $500 on gifts, withdraw that as cash for your Black Friday trip and once you’re out of money, you’re out. Shopping with credit cards comes with sweet perks like rewards points, but if money is tight and you need a hard limit, leave your cards at home.
4. It offers the chance to support small businesses
Let’s say you don’t much care about scoping those big Black Friday sales at Costco, Walmart, or other big-box retailers. Maybe you just want to capitalize on having the day off work and knock out some of your holiday gift-buying in the process. Shopping on Black Friday gives you the opportunity to visit local small businesses and give them some of the hard-earned cash out of your savings account.
You get the warm and fuzzy feeling of supporting the real people who live and work in your community, and hey — your local clothing shop or independent bookstore might also have some sweet deals on offer for shoppers who come to them that day. (Plus, your local merchants might be far less crowded on Black Friday than they will be on Small Business Saturday!)
Shopping on Black Friday can be an experience. Consider these lesser-discussed benefits of hitting those sales, as they just might enhance your shopping trip.
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