Have you ever thought about buying a certain expensive product such as a new phone or a new television and told yourself: “I’ll wait for it to go on sale”?. Waiting for a discount, even a small one, is not unusual in today’s world. A discount is what drives a hesitating customer to buy a product, even though they might not need it. Think about your own purchasing decisions, you’ll notice that you have probably bought something totally unnecessary this year because it was on sale. It is normal for humans to spend money with the underlying idea of “I might not need it now, but I might need it in the future”. Combine this idea with a temporary steep discount and you’ll get a melting pot full of impulsive, emotional and irrational consumer decisions. One of the days that makes people totally escalate in buying enormous amounts of unnecessary things is ‘Black Friday’. However, if everyone does it, then what is the big deal?
Discounts are a huge part of today's capitalistic society. Whole days have been allocated towards having huge discounts on certain or all products, one of these days is ‘Black Friday’. Black Friday is the informal name for the day after Thanksgiving, which is this year the 23rd of November. Black Friday has been popularized in the United States since 1952 and is seen as the start of the Christmas Holiday shopping season. This day is the epitome of discounts for which many large retailers open their doors earlier than usual (Or don’t even close) and give huge and steep discounts on almost every product that is sold within their stores. This results in people spending their Thanksgiving Day camping out in front of their favourite massive retailer to get their most coveted items. They want to acquire these products, no matter the struggle, at a huge discount. Black Friday is known for turning everyday consumers into discount-crazed predators that have only one goal: getting their items.
These discount hunters will not let anything stand between them and their desired price. However, chaos ensues when everyone with this mindset is pushed together onto a few square meters fighting for their beloved prize. What’s a bit of pushing and pulling, getting a black eye, or breaking a leg, when you can sit at home staring at your new 4K TV that you got at a 90% discount? The craziness of Black Friday has resulted in at least 10 reported deaths throughout the United States and many more injuries.
The concept of Black Friday is slowly being adopted by the large retailers in Europe. However, the hysteria surrounding it has not been adopted by the European consumers. A current trend is that a large part of the Black Friday sales are available online and thus there is no need for pushing or shoving. On Black Friday 2017, there was a total amount of US $7,9 Billion spend through online sales, this is 17,9% up from the previous year. The big deal with Black Friday is that it brings out the worst in us. It gives us a sense of need and urgency which can often result in violence.My recommendation for Black Friday is to remain calm and stay indoors. The next time that you are looking at a product and feel the need to buy it, remember that even though it has a discount, you might not even need it!