10 Reasons Black Friday Is Awful and Needs to Go Away

by Staff Writer

On the day after Thanksgiving, all the cooks in the family are grateful they made it through another year without a turkey fire or pumpkin pie disaster. But as their stress winds down, other Americans are in full-out hunting mode. They're alert, focused, and ready to pounce on every Black Friday deal they set their sights on (and anyone who gets in their way). For every one of these manic shoppers, though, there are dozens of people who hate the materialistic practice, especially since it takes place a day after we are supposed to take stock of our many blessings. The country would probably be a lot better off without the Black Friday tradition, for these 10 reasons and many more.

  1. It's dangerous

    A few years ago, a Wal-Mart worker was killed in a stampede on the treacherous day after Thanksgiving. As the management prepared to open the store doors at 5 a.m., the employee was pushed to the ground and then trampled to death as shoppers surged through the entrance to get to the deals. Dozens of people are injured each year by the crazed crowds who are too eager to get popular items. Common injuries include bruises, sprained ankles, broken bones, and sometimes even concussions. The government has passed regulations for improved Black Friday safety, such as starting the line farther from the door and removing items that can be used as battering rams, but the unruly crowds and often-freezing temperatures seem like enough reason to call off the holiday altogether.

  2. It brought back Rebecca Black's song

    You can't even mention Rebecca Black and Friday in the same sentence without getting the maddening song "Friday" stuck in your head. Maybe Kohl's is hoping that the song will also get the idea of shopping Kohl's sales engrained in shoppers' brains by using the viral tune in their Black Friday ads. We could've gone the rest of our lives without hearing that song again, but Kohl's just had to bring it back. Most people, even those who love Black Friday sales, would probably agree that getting rid of the time-honored shopping holiday would be a small sacrifice if it helped us forget Rebecca Black's soul-crushing music.

  3. Shopping rage isn't worth it

    Frustrating traffic and rude drivers have made us all too familiar with road rage, but the same kind of scenarios without the cars also make us susceptible to shopping rage. Crowded stores and long lines can turn the calmest people into terrifying lunatics. Throw in the scramble for a good deal, and any store can turn into a mob scene or break out into fights. This kind of rage can happen at any point during the year, but it increases around the holidays when shoppers are particularly stressed and stores are especially crowded. People have even died as a result of shopping rage, like the Houston man who was killed in an argument at a Wal-Mart in 2002.

  4. Cyber Monday's better

    Getting rid of Black Friday wouldn't necessarily mean shoppers would miss out on holiday-time deals. Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving, has become the preferred deal day for many people and is a far more civil practice. No camping out in lines for hours, no shoving people out of the way for the last TV, and no scary mob mentality. You can shop for discounted goods from the comfort of your own home, and though some of the deals from Black Friday might be sold out, many sites offer better or different specials on Cyber Monday. Many of the deals are also extended beyond the one Monday so shoppers have more time to save (and less stress).

  5. Retail workers lose their Thanksgiving

    Though store employees might be thankful for clocking more hours on the job, they aren't so happy about those hours cutting into their Thanksgiving celebrations. Many stores participating in Black Friday tried to appeal to more customers this year by starting their post-Thanksgiving blowout earlier than ever before. Some retailers, like Target, Best Buy, and Macy's, opened at midnight, while Wal-Mart let consumers rush in at 10 p.m. Thursday. This means that the employees of these stores had to cut their time with family short to be at work at the end of the day. Thousands of people petitioned stores to push back the opening time, but retailers say they are catering to consumer demands. If the practice of Black Friday is going to continue, we should at least make sure it doesn't spill over into Thanksgiving.

  6. The best brands aren't on sale

    Some of the best deals you'll find during Black Friday are on electronics, like TVs and laptops, kitchen appliances, and clothing. The only problem is that they typically aren't brands you would consider buying any other time of the year. The TVs you might find on sale, for example, are brands like Dynex, Seiki, and Element, not the top-of-the-line brands you dream about. The prices are cheap, but the products often are, too. Kitchen appliances on sale are often more poorly made than the full-price versions and are items you won't use frequently, like donut makers and low-grade blenders. In terms of clothing, there's a reason you hear the most Black Friday chatter from bargain stores; expensive stores that carry name brands don't offer many discounts. You'll be buying items on sale that were cheaper to begin with. More deals on big-brand products can usually be found online, eliminating the need for facing Black Friday crowds.

  7. Retailers have purposely low supplies

    After reading through the advertisements for Black Friday deals, you're probably drawn to some of the bigger items. If you can save $300 on a TV, why wouldn't you face the crowds to buy it? Those ads normally have some fine print, though, that can make all the difference. One trick of the Black Friday retailers is that the item is offered in "limited quantities" with no rain check available. These quantities are so limited in some cases, that the stores are only required to have three or four in stock, even though they expect thousands of customers to show up. If you are fifth in line for that discounted TV, you're out of luck. Black Friday allows stores to lure in customers with false promises, a practice that wouldn't be acceptable any other day of the year.

  8. It encourages overspending

    It kind of defeats the purpose of trying to save money by shopping Black Friday sales when you actually end up making a lot of impulse buys. The smartest post-Thanksgiving shoppers have an organized, strategic plan for the day. They know exactly what they want and prioritize the stores they're visiting. But for less focused individuals, the deals they stumble upon can be too enticing to pass up. The problem with these impulse buys is that you don't always know if they're actually good deals or not. You haven't compared prices, read reviews, or thought about whether you really want the item. Even though these products are on sale, too many impulse buys will really add up, especially if you're buying some big-ticket items. The stores themselves may be pushed into the black by all the purchases, but Black Friday's not doing the country any good if all the shoppers are going into debt.

  9. There are better deals other times

    Why do we all think of Black Friday as the only day when we can save money? Most stores, particularly in bad economic times, start their sales weeks before Thanksgiving with deep discounts that rival those of the day of "doorbusters." Early birds could find better prices than those who wait until right after Turkey Day. Other retailers keep prices low throughout the holiday season to encourage buying or even offer better sales in the weeks following Thanksgiving. For those who aren't looking for things to stuff under the tree, the weeks immediately after Christmas can provide the best prices as stores try to get rid of stock they loaded up on during the holiday season. Stores like Target and Wal-Mart add aisles of toys for Christmas that have to be cleared out immediately afterward.

  10. It's making us crazy rather than thankful

    With some of the shopping day creeping into the actual day of Thanksgiving this year, Americans have been more focused than ever on Black Friday. This includes those who eagerly planned their shopping lists for the most savings on Thursday night as well as those who petitioned the earlier start date. Either way, Thanksgiving has taken a back seat. If you take stock of the media coverage lately, much of it has looked at Black Friday as well, covering the earlier hours, the effects on the economy, and where to find the best deals. Not much has been said about giving thanks or enjoying time with family and friends. If we could just end Black Friday now, that would give us all something else to be thankful for.


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