Is Black Friday still worth it?

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Margot Graves

Black Friday shoppers stand in a line outside of a store at Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara.

Are Black Friday deals worth the time spent in chaotic stores and extra-long lines? This year more than ever, buyers are questioning if the shopping tradition is worth their energy and time; many aspects of life, especially shopping, are hopping online, and the best deals may be as well. 

Marketing done by stores on Black Friday pushes people to believe that their deals are the best of the best, and the Friday after Thanksgiving is the only day to get them. Cyber Monday adds a digital twist to Black Friday, as it includes these great deals, or even better deals, without having to take time away from family. Online competitors to Black Friday partakers such as Amazon Prime Day are increasingly taking over the trade just as they are taking over online shopping all year round. 

It is often possible to find deals that are just as good or even better at other times in the year. According to Insider, “fitness equipment and winter clothing will always be cheaper later in the winter, with fitness deals peaking in January and winter apparel prices plummeting as the weather gets warmer.”

It is common for stores such as Target, Best Buy, and Walmart to recycle deals every year on the same products, even down to the exact price, making it pointless for Black Friday regulars to go back every year, as they would not get anything new. 

As stores recycle deals, they also tend to put things on sale that are not selling regularly. This leads to people buying things they don’t need or even want because good deals draw in buyers. 

“A bad product is always a bad deal, no matter the price,” Nathan Burrow from Wirecutter said.

A sign outside of Urban Outfitters informs shoppers of the store’s Black Friday deals. (Margot Graves)

Although shopping on Black Friday seems like a hassle, some deals are too good to pass up. Certain items like robot vacuums, toys, board games, Bluetooth headphones, earbuds, and speakers all tend to be Black Friday buys that are worth it.

Black Friday can also be a holiday tradition for buyers to participate in, with the excitement of getting up early and competing to get a television half off before they sell out. 

As the internet is taking over the consumer industry, Black Friday slowly continues to decline. However, stores still have the opportunity to sell an immense amount of products in a short time on Cyber Monday. 

On Red Stag, Jake Rheude said, “Add to this [the rise of online shopping] the fact that up to half of people who shop the weekend after Thanksgiving will look for online deals, and Black Friday starts to look decidedly pale.”

It is not surprising that during a dedicated time for family, people would prefer to skip the lines and order their holiday gifts from the comfort of their homes. The ease of online shopping applies to Black Friday, especially as many of the deals found in-store are on their websites as well, either on the day itself or Cyber Monday. 

As deals become available online, they seem to be spread out over more days, making it easier for consumers to plan their purchases. 

“The majority of Thanksgiving season sales were largely contained to the weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as recently as last year. But this year, they’re beginning to spread even further, with some discounts appearing as early as the beginning of November,” Alejandro de la Garza from Time said.

Specific deals on Black Friday have proven not to be nearly as good any other day of the year. But for the most part, the values don’t seem to be worth the long lines and time spent without family on Thanksgiving break. Cyber Monday and other online deals throughout November seem to be a better option for people who still want to participate in the exciting holiday deals.

In years to continue, it’s important to remember to make smart purchases on deals and check online for the best deal possible. Happy shopping!