Daily 49er

Shop ‘til you drop coffee on your keyboard

Shopping in-person is a thing of the past.

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As the holidays get closer, so does Black Friday, as it robs people of having a relaxing Thanksgiving with family. With claims of having the best sales, shopping in person on Black Friday always seems to make people forget what the holiday is actually about: a time to be thankful for your loved ones and spend the whole day enjoying amazing food.

When it comes to shopping, it is way easier to spend money online from the comfort of our own homes in pajamas, allowing people to spend time with their families and escape the madness of bargain shopping.

Sure, you can always socialize with them in line, but if you’ve been Black Friday shopping before, you know how crazy it can be. There are plenty of online videos of the chaos of in-person shopping, stories of people fighting over products and photos of the mess left behind for employees to clean up. Once everyone is inside, items are thrown, flung and fought over. In 2008, a Walmart employee died after being trampled during the madness. It is impossible for retail stores to have a system that would prevent catastrophes like this from happening.

By spending online, you will avoid the madness and get more options; you’ll even get a better chance of actually finding what you hoped for because there’s more in stock. Online retailers carry heavy inventory because they know millions of people across the country will be shopping on their sites.

If you shop in-person with hopes of getting something that will probably be gone within the first ten minutes, retailers take advantage; they know that once you’re in the store ready to spend money, you will. Suddenly, that $5 movie that you will never watch or a game system that you know your family will only use once is in your cart.

Even lining up days before a store opens has become normal. Years ago, retailers used to start opening between 4 to 6 a.m. on Friday, but now Black Friday falls on Thanksgiving Day. In recent years, stores such as Walmart, Target and BestBuy have started to open between 6 to 8 p.m., leaving little time for shoppers and employees to spend with their families. Consumers wake up early, line up for days, and waste their time and money on items they’ve had their eye on all season.

With so many sales online, it doesn’t make sense to shop in person. Amazon has a countdown to Black Friday, offering sales leading up to the day, while Best Buy offers online deals all weekend.

In a survey released by the National Retail Federation in 2016, 108.5 million Americans shopped online on Black Friday weekend, which was well above the 99.1 million who shopped in store. More and more people are finding it beneficial to shop online. This lets them have the freedom to eat and shop right in the comfort of their home instead of missing Thanksgiving and being squished in a raging crowd.

We need to stop letting shoppers think they’re getting the best deal of the year in stores while retail workers repeat how big their paychecks will be after working ridiculous hours over the holiday. We should know by now that this heavily anticipated day is a big marketing scam to get us to spend even more money in person. So please, make it easier for yourself and retail workers. Shop smart and save your coins for online, or if you do go out on Black Friday, don’t forget to spend time with your family and to be mindful of the mess retail employees have to clean up after.

 

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