I Once Shopped on Black Friday. Once was Enough.


Yes, friends, there was once a time I considered myself a Black Friday shopper. But that one early-morning trip ended that.

I still remember that one year I decided to make myself get up so I could line up on the Friday after Thanksgiving to bargain hunt. There were two or three specific items on my radar that year. For some reason, I decided that this was the Black Friday I’d go after them.

I was among the first to arrive at the store. The line didn’t seem as long as I expected, but there were still plenty of determined shoppers ahead of me. When the doors opened, the mob rushed in, but it wasn’t an unruly mob.

At least there was that.

I managed to find two of the three things I intended to buy. I’ll be honest: At this point, I don’t even remember what those “must-haves” were. I’m sure I don’t even have the two items I did manage to buy. Maybe they were Christmas gifts for someone else? I suppose that’s a possibility.

Would I ever do it again? Well, that one year was more than enough for me.

I haven’t gone Black Friday shopping early that morning since. There have been a couple of years that I’ve run by a store like Best Buy or Target, but more out of necessity than out of trying to snag some rare “once-in-a-lifetime” bargain that I just can’t get anywhere else or at any other time.

These days, I’d much rather shop from my recliner on Amazon.

Will Black Friday remain a big deal?

Which is better: Black Friday or Cyber Monday? For retailers, both days are critical to their sales. For many retailers, those deals roll out far earlier than that particular Friday or Monday. Some seem determined to transform those single shopping days to “monthlong events.”

But I really don’t know that I believe Black Friday will go away, no matter how many of those purchases happen online.

There are still folks — some of them younger than I am — who feel the need to shop in person.

There are some things I only want to buy in person. I may want to examine the item and see exactly what it looks like in front of me rather than on a computer screen. When it comes to clothing, yes, I want to see that in person; I rarely rely on a website’s description to trust that one brand’s size is the right size.

I think bookstores represent a great example. If it’s a book I know I want, I don’t mind ordering it on Amazon unless I feel like I need it that same day. But I do miss the experience of browsing the aisles of stores like Barnes and Noble and Waldenbooks. Unless it’s a book that has been a longtime sales champion, or it’s from an author with real staying power, it’s harder and harder to find specific books that you might want. When I browse, I tend to head to the reference section. Otherwise, I have a very small handful of authors I keep an eye on.

But if the bookstore doesn’t have the title, I’d rarely have them order it for me. At that point, I’ll just get it from Amazon…and usually receive it faster that way anyway.

Some people, after that big meal surrounded by family and whatever political or social arguments might erupt during dinner, just need to get out of the house for a while. It’s not so much about finding deals as much as just changing locale for a little while.

I haven’t even looked at Black Friday ads this year.

If I do feel the need to walk off some of those Thanksgiving Day calories, I’ll come up with something. But as for braving those crazy shoppers, I’ll pass.

If that critical Black Friday shopping excursion is still a regular part of your routine, I wish you success. I’m happy to report that I’ll be one less shopper you have to push your way past to get to that one thing at the top of your wait list. Maybe, just maybe, the one you’ll find might otherwise be the one I’d have beaten you to had I been there.

You’re welcome.

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.