Black Friday Explained

Is Black Friday Really That Bad?

One of the biggest sales events is just one month away from happening again, the Black Friday promises to blow everyone’s minds this 2018 and it occurred to me that, maybe we don’t know much about this holiday.

Sure, we all know what Black Friday is, but what’s the whole story behind it? Why did it become a worldwide trend?

Some people see it as a terrible event because it invites people to overspend money, and yes, it does, but it’s a holiday announced every year with time so you get to make the economic arranges you need, if you overspend it’s because you found an amazing offer or you didn’t plan well enough.

And that’s exactly what I want to talk today, how to prepare for the Black Friday and get the best out of it.

A Little Bit Of History

Let’s understand a little why this happens and where it comes from, shall we?

The word “black” is an adjective historically applied to days where something big happens and that is not good at all.

The first ever mention of a Black Friday happened in the United States in 1869, only that at that time it was called “the Panic of 1869”.

That year, financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk used their connections with the Grant Administration because they wanted to corner the gold market and make lots of profits out of it, but President Grant heard about it and he requested Treasury to release large supplies of gold, leading to a huge drop of gold’s price that year, almost 18%.

The consequences were catastrophic for some, but other’s made a fortune that day.

Over the history of the USA, the term Black Friday is repeated often, in 1951 for example, the journal Factory Management and Maintenance used it because workers were calling in sick on the day after Thanksgiving. They didn’t show up to work because it was a strategy to have a four-day weekend.

At the same time, terms like Black Friday and Black Saturday were used by the police in Rochester and Philadelphia to describe the significant quantity of people starting the Christmas shopping season.

Of course, publicists at the time knew they had a golden trend on their hands and tried to give it a less spooky name like “Big Friday”, but it was easily forgotten.

The most common explanation for this holiday is that by 1980, merchants noticed this shopping season too, because retailers used to operate at a financial loss from January to November, but the day after Thanksgiving until December, their numbers would come out of red ink to black ink, because they were no longer losing money.

What Is Black Friday About?

Essentially, Black Friday is the day when all major stores go insane and take down their prices almost to 50%.

And of course, people like you and me need to take advantage of this offer, because there is no way you will ever find a better price after Black Friday.

Black Friday has been considered the busiest shopping day since 2004, it marks the start of the Christmas season, and it makes a lot of sense because the biggest holiday before Christmas it’s Thanksgiving, and many employers give their employees that after Thanksgiving Friday off.

So what do you do with one day off from work when Christmas is so close? Yes, you shop!

People buy all kinds of gadgets, garments, accessories, and even food. Traditionally, stores open at 6 am and outside some of them, you will see huge lines of people eager for the doors to open to get the products they have been desiring for so long with the biggest discounts.

Why Is Black Friday Good?

For regular people like us, Black Friday is a great deal because we get the products we want for a lower price.

If you have been dreaming with the new iPhone, chances are the price won’t go that low, but still, if you can save 50 bucks, it is still a win.

But let’s think bigger here, if you need to replace that old couch, change your fridge, get a new TV, a new bike, maybe just new clothes to go to work, would you honestly ignore a 20% discount from your favorite store?

Sellers know this, and of course, they don’t let all their merchandise on the store for people to buy it all for less, but they do leave many items for their purchase and it represents a big win for them, mostly because they get rid of old merchandise and make a lot of money that day.

If a business hasn’t been doing so good the whole year, Black Friday is their last chance to make profits.

For some companies, Black Friday is not just one day, but the entire weekend. In 2014, almost 134 million people shopped those days. Each person spent, on average, $390, meaning, more than $50 million was poured into the country’s economy.

If you have a whole country waiting for this day/weekend, you need to hire more workers at least for that time, and that means the economy doesn’t only get fueled with more money, but also people have a monetary extra income.

To this day, more than 20 countries besides the US have adopted this Black Friday trend. It became so popular that now we have Cyber Monday, which is the next Monday after Black Friday; it’s the day you get Back Friday discounts on the net, a trend designed for people that simply can’t go out to shop or prefer to do it from home.

To prepare for this holiday I personally recommend you to think what you need to buy. Check how much money you have available so you don’t go into red numbers after Black Friday, consult your favorite store’s website and see what they have to offer, so once you get to the store, you don’t go bananas taking everything in your cart.

Also, think about Christmas, the point of this event is to shop Christmas presents on time. So if you are thinking about a present for your mother in law, your brother or boss, make a list and see what you can find out there.

And if you don’t really need to buy anything, should you still do it? To my eyes, if you have the money and it won’t affect you or others, then why not? Give yourself a treat.


Image by: Bruce Mars

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