Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Are They All They’re Cracked Up To Be?

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Falling on the last Friday of November every year, Black Friday has become a solid date in many people’s shopping calendars. 

Originating in the US over half a century ago, the day after Thanksgiving was thought to be the first day of the Christmas shopping season, with many retailers — from multi-nationals to small independents – promoting special offers and once-in-a-lifetime discounts to get people in the mood. 

Whereas Black Friday was traditionally for instore purchases, Cyber Monday was later introduced in the States in 2005 to encourage online sales. It falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving and quickly became one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. 

But with all the hype of these two ‘holiday sales’, is it actually worth making your purchases on these days? Here we evaluate the pros and cons of shopping on these days. 

The Pros 

There’s no doubt that there are some brilliant bargains to be found on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. From 20% off clothing brands to 50% off essential electrical items, it would seem silly to buy the same items the week before or the week after these sales. 

Nowadays, you can easily compare prices online of similar products, so you can spend some time researching to find the perfect items for you, and then purchase them at prices that you might not be able to find again. 

These sales are especially good if you already have a clear list of products that you need — perhaps these are for home improvement, or perhaps they are Christmas or birthday gifts for family members that have been specifically requested. In this case, you can use your pre-determined shopping list to browse and compare the items you need — which will hopefully be dramatically reduced in the sale! This is an effective form of budget management as you have carefully considered the purchases before making a real monetary saving on them. 

The Cons 

One of the biggest cons when it comes to sale shopping is that it encourages a lot of impulse spending. This means that many people are tempted by the promotional adverts and low prices and end up purchasing items that they neither require, nor can really afford. 

It’s all too easy to overspend amid the Black Friday sale frenzy, and lots of people are afraid of missing out when it comes to items that they think could be sold out within hours. 

If you dare to venture out into the shops on the last Friday in November, there is a good chance the stores will be overcrowded and manic. If you don’t fancy fighting among the clothes rails to secure that bargain sweater or hurting your back from carrying five bags’ worth of discounted toiletries, then it’s probably a good idea to stay at home on Black Friday! Even Cyber Monday can be frustrating as websites can crash from too much online traffic or items can sell out midway through the checkout process, which can cause stress and anxiety. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it seems the best and only way to navigate this year’s sales is to do so with precision, research and organisation. If there are items that you know you need, make a list and go into Black Friday and Cyber Monday like a pro! Don’t be sucked in by larger-than-life discounts on products that you don’t need or might not ever use. 

So, will you be shopping online this November 29th and December 2nd? Tweet us @BootstrapsBiz #BootstrapBusiness with your thoughts on online shopping, Black Friday Savings, and Cyber Monday deals.

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