Black Friday vs Small Business Saturday vs Cyber Monday
- The holidays tend to strain our bank accounts a lot more than normal, and it seems no matter how much we save and prepare, we tend to find ways to blow out our perfectly reasonable budgets. Luckily, we have specific sale days to help us stay on track and not break the bank. There are several options, so I have provided a helpful pro/con lists to help you decide which one is right for you this shopping (I mean Holiday) season:
Exclusive Giveaways: Most brick & mortar stores that promote Black Friday sales have some sort of door buster deal – usually a deal so good that people are willing to show up in person & brave the weather and crowds. Larger retailers entice Black Friday shoppers by giving away thousands of dollars in gift cards or free stuff to the first people in line. For some, this is the only way to afford the larger ticket items to give as holiday gifts to their loved ones.
Electronic Deals: Black Friday is basically the one day of the year that TVs, computers, Apple products and smart phones are all actually affordable to the common man.
Feeling of Satisfaction: Who doesn’t like crossing names off their Christmas lists in short order?
Sales are Limited in Quantity & Time: Most Black Friday sales that are worth your time will only be available for a few short hours or to the first few in line.
Some Promotions Are Not Such Great Bargains: This is a tricky one. When you’re inside the store and you see the red price tag that appears to show a great deal for a product, you don’t have time to actually compare the prices to other stores or to double check what they normally cost. Some stores mark up their prices shortly before Black Friday just so that they can mark them back down with a “discount” – which ultimately gets you the same product for the same price you would pay any other day of the year.
Fighting Crowds: No one likes crowds, they are the WORST. And on Black Friday they are actually larger and more pushier crowds than you’d find on any other given day. According to www.blackfridaydeathcount.com(yes it’s scary that this website even exists), a total of 10 deaths and 111 injuries have occurred during Black Friday at retail locations so far.
Cutting the Thanksgiving Holiday Short: For a lot of us, we have family that come in to town to spend time with us during this holiday, so it’s a sacrifice to leave a cozy family gathering in search of the deals.
Easier & Faster: With just a click of a button, you have the entire internet (and all it’s deals) at your fingertips. You can add everything you need – and several things you don’t – to your virtual cart without breaking a sweat.
Does Not Disrupt Thanksgiving: You can relax, catch up with your family who you don’t see very often and enjoy and extra slice of pumpkin pie, because you are in no rush.
Easy to Compare Prices: You can search for the specific product you want from multiple stores simultaneously to make sure you are getting the best bargain. This can be invaluable to make sure you stick to your Christmas spending budget.
No “Kicking the Tires”: Everything you purchase online is site unseen, meaning there is always a little bit of mystery when those packages arrive. You hope to open the box to find the product exactly how you envisioned it would be, but all too often that is not the case. Unlike in stores, where you can touch and feel a product and make sure it’s what you are looking for, there is a bit more risk associated with online shopping, because a picture can be deceiving.
Working Hours: I am sure your boss wouldn’t be thrilled that you are spending your Monday work hours shopping online rather than you know, actually working.
Returning: Some people absolutely hate returning purchases by mail. Sometimes you are on the line to pay return postage and then you have to wait days to get a refund. A popular opinion is that it is far easier to return items to an actual store location and get your money back immediately.
Small Business Saturday
No Crowds: Crowds for SBS will be either significantly smaller, or nonexistent, making your shopping experience safer, faster and more enjoyable.
Unique Gifts: Rather than buying someone a gift that they can get literally anywhere, smaller businesses offer items that are more special and one of a kind. Isn’t it rewarding to give someone a gift that is irreplaceable?
Supporting Your Local Economy: Instead of funneling all your cash to big box stores like Target, Best Buy and Macy’s, you know that every dollar you spend at a small business is feeding and supporting a local family rather than lining the already deep pockets of CEOs you’ll never meet.
Lesser Known: Because Small Business Saturday isn’t as advertised as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, some local businesses either don’t know to participate or don’t know how to tell you that they are.
Smaller Selection: Unlike Amazon that sells literally anything and everything you can think of, smaller businesses tend to focus on niche products, meaning you’re going to have to get very specific with your list and which stores you visit.
Not as Great of Deals: Smaller businesses tend to have a much smaller profit margin and can’t afford to give you 40% off their merchandise, so you’re not going to find the killer deals you would have at larger locations.
Honorable Mention: Travel Tuesday
This is something that I recently discovered was a thing and wanted to share it with you all in case you have never heard of “Travel Tuesday”. Travel Tuesday is the Black Friday for all things travel related. If you’re planning a vacation for next spring, you’ll be able to find the best deals on hotels, airline tickets and cruises on this day. Here is a helpful article from the New York Times about this lesser known day.