I don’t like Black Friday.
I like the premise of Black Friday. I like paying half-price for something I would normally never buy myself. I like getting a budget-friendly head start to my Christmas shopping.
I don’t like that Black Friday now happens on Thursday, ruining Thanksgiving for a ton of retail workers.
I’ve worked retail before and promised myself that I would never Black Friday shop. I watched the scheduling disaster that affected so many of my co-workers’ holiday (I got out of working due to a computer scheduling error). It sucks for those who have to work it.
I was really convinced I would never go until my marketing professor said that she would give us a bonus point for going Black Friday shopping, and I really need that bonus point.
I abandoned my promise for a single point and went Black Friday shopping this year for the first time ever.
I originally planned to go early Friday, but most stores opened their doors at 5 or 6 p.m. Thursday. By Friday, everything would be gone. I had to drag my cousin with me after we finished eating.
We stopped by Dick’s Sporting Goods then went to Ulta.
I literally waited in line for twenty minutes for mascara. Yes, mascara. It was originally $24 and I bought it for $10 though, so I guess it was worth it.
I wanted to see some of the real Black Friday drama, so I was committed to going to Kohl’s and Walmart.
Kohl’s was ridiculous. When I walked in and saw that the end of the line wasn’t in sight, I knew I wasn’t going to buy anything. I went to see where the line ended, but I got distracted before I got to the end, and I never actually found the end of the line.
Kohl’s had some sales I was interested in (70 percent off select sterling silver jewelry, hello), so I pulled up their website when I was in the store. Everything that I was looking at in-store, I could order online from my phone for the same price.
I ordered everything I wanted from my couch when I got home.
We went to Walmart after that, and I was disappointed. The sales weren’t that great, I saw no arguments, and the store wasn’t even messy or anything.
Maybe I picked the wrong Walmart.
However, Walmart did offer the weirdest thing I saw all night. Walmart’s discounted movies were in the freezer aisle. The movies were on temporary cardboard shelves that were pressed up against the glass doors to the freezer. Need some frozen veggies? Try again when Black Friday is over.
I did get some pretty good deals, but I definitely bought some things I wouldn’t normally buy. I bought a $50 ring for $15, solely because it was a $50 ring for $15. I haven’t even worn a ring since prom.
So did I get some good deals? Yes. Did I save money? No.
Overall, Black Friday is only worth it if you’re going for the experience or if your professor is giving you bonus points. If you’re going for the sales, a lot of them are online or will be available Cyber Monday.