According to an article in Business Insider, brick-and-mortar stores saw $12.3 billion dollars in sales during Thanksgiving and Black Friday in 2013. With the number of shoppers who turn out on Black Friday and more stores opening earlier, it’s no surprise that the business of holiday shopping is booming – especially on a day when some items are the lowest price they’ll ever be.
It wasn’t until the early 2000s when the infamous day, Black Friday, really became the busiest shopping day of the year. From there, many states began to see stores open earlier and earlier until Black Friday didn’t even start on a Friday, but Thanksgiving instead. This change has caused anger amongst shoppers and workers alike, who have called for stores to “save Thanksgiving” and allow workers to spend the holiday with their families.
Supporting workers and their families is one reason many people are choosing to stay home today. Here’s a few more reasons you may want to relax at home on Black Friday and wait to shop until Cyber Monday – the online sister of Black Friday.
- Black Friday can be physically exhausting. Expect to do a ton of standing. With thousands of people crowding the store, the lines can seem never ending. There are lines to get in the store, lines to get your products, and lines to get through checkouts. That means you’ll have to stand in the cold before standing in a hot, over-packed store. Not only that, but chances are you’ll have to carry some heavy packages during this time too. Along with long lines, you may be walking long distances from the parking lot if you don’t have a handicap permit. Swarms of people will be at each store, which more than likely means all the good spots – or even the mediocre spots – will be filled.
- It can be dangerous. While there’s a slim chance you’ll experience some of the scarier stuff like all out brawls and trampling stampedes, there is still a high chance that you will come across at least one overly-aggressive shopper who will push their way through at any cost.
- It can take away from your Thanksgiving. In order to get the best deals, you have to get to the stores early. That means you may have to leave Thanksgiving festivities to head to the stores or to head home and nap before waking up at the crack of dawn.
- It can ruin your mood. While many people find Black Friday to be fun, if you are someone who hates big crowds and rude people, going out on Black Friday is going to put you in a bad mood. The day is full of packed stores and pushy people trying to get to their deals. For your own sanity, stay home.
If you choose to stay home and do some online shopping on Black Friday or during Cyber Monday, make sure you are prepared by following a few simple rules.
- Keep your identity safe. Use a credit card instead of your debit card. Change your passwords frequently and make them strong by using a mixture of symbols, numbers, and capital or lowercase letters. Don’t use the same password for every account and make sure to keep an eye on your accounts to see if there is any odd activity going on.
- Have a plan. Make sure you have a list of the stores you want to visit online. Don’t just surf around. There’s a good chance that the internet will be running slowly that day since there is a surge in internet traffic.
- Know your needs. If you have poor eyesight, make sure you have your glasses with you and adjust your screen so each website is easier to read. You can make the print larger by zooming in and you can adjust the screen’s brightness in your computer settings. If you are not web or computer savvy, shop with someone who knows how to navigate sites, spot scams, and input your information correctly.