The highs and lows of Black Friday

I find myself totally torn when it comes to Black Friday, pulled in three different directions. Is it something to love? Something to hate? Or something to sensibly utilise?

Image: wotv4women.com
Image: wotv4women.com

For those who have remained unaware of Black Friday, it’s the day that follows Thanksgiving and is traditionally the start of the Christmas season. In the past few years, it’s become the day that shops start their mega sales and everyone runs around shopping malls like lunatics trying to get their hands on that last must-have item. It’s spread from the US to the UK and has become something of a tradition here, with online retailers extending it beyond a day and calling it Cyber Weekend.

The thing is, it’s got a little crazy. Yesterday (yes, the day before Black Friday) the Currys website crashed and instead of being met by the home page, customers were greeted with a brief message. This is the message my friend got at 21:12 last night: “Huge demand has meant we need to place you in a short queue. Number of customers in the queue ahead of you: 169,291.” Crazy.

So there’s a part of me that thinks this whole thing is completely ridiculous. We’re all buying crap we don’t need – and sometimes don’t even want – because the whole country has gone into some kind of corporate meltdown. Some of my friends are calling it Day of the Dead and many others are completely disgusted by shoppers’ admissions of how much they’ve spent or how many people they’ve fought or how much carnage they’ve caused in the hurry to get the last TV on the shelf. In case you think I’m exaggerating, read this article about police being called to multiple shops across the country – one where a man threatened to “smash a staff member’s face in”. Delightful. And by using these sales and buying in to Black Friday, this craziness will grow and grow and we will continue to be a slave to the corporate Gods.

Image: Blog Times Union
Image: Blog Times Union

So that’s part one of me. Utter disgust.

The other part of me is the Pinterest-browsing material-loving girl that thinks this is whole thing is completely amazing. I’m skint and even though my cupboards are bursting I have nothing to wear for drinks at the pub tonight, therefore this is the perfect opportunity to buy something new. And at a bargain price. Whoop! And so I trawl all the high street websites (I’m not stupid enough to go to the actual shops) adding things to my basket every three minutes, and getting suitably angry every time a website crashes because of too much traffic. I’ve got various Black Friday voucher codes open in one window, and multiple tabs open alongside it for all the things I want for the Christmas period.

Image: Fashion Magazine
Image: Fashion Magazine

So that’s the other part of me. A shopaholic who’s desperate for a bargain.

And then there’s the final part of me. The part that will inevitably beat the other two parts to a pulp. I’m not crazy, I’m not going to spend a fortune on things I don’t really need but I’m also not going to ignore this very helpful and financially-practical day. That would be silly. There are some things I need and there is Christmas shopping to be done, so why not do it on a day when everything is a little bit cheaper? There are some things I was going to buy anyway, like the thermals I mentioned in my blog post last week, and thanks to Black Friday my beloved thermal top is now £7 cheaper than it was. So I haven’t gone nuts and I’m not spending excessively, but I’m using Black Friday to get the things I was planning on getting anyway. That’s okay, right?

My shopping basket
My shopping basket

Happy Black Friday folks – spend wisely! x

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