This year’s Black Friday was riddled with violence, but the American consumer deserves better. From a woman being stunned by a taser gun in Pennsylvania to a man in Las Vegas being shot over a television, Black Friday was marred by mayhem, and all just to save a few bucks on an electronic item that will be out of date in a year.
Obviously, no one loves a good sale more than I do. It’s pretty much all I tweet about all day long! However, I value my dignity as much as I value saving money, and just because I can’t afford to pay full retail on everything I desire, doesn’t mean I deserve to be treated like a starving animal that’s being nudged into a feeding frenzy. Quite frankly, neither does any consumer.
Let’s face facts: stores are creating this hype and sensation by offering incredible deals on a limited supply of product.
They purposely do not offer enough sale items for everyone waiting outside the store. If they did, then there wouldn’t be such Black Friday chaos. I’m sure I’m jumping to conclusions, but I envision a greedy little man somewhere laughing joyously as he watches working class folks like you and I shove each other around for a stupid game console. Know that if you are partaking in the in-store Black Friday madness, you are nothing more than a pawn in some one-percenter’s game of human entertainment. And know that you deserve better.
Have you ever walked into a Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue or Nordstrom? Have you noticed how nicely everything is merchandised? There isn’t a bunch of crap on the floor that you have to dig through. And have you noticed how nice and helpful the staff is? Maybe you didn’t have such an encounter, because you weren’t there to buy anything, but just to gawk. However, I encourage you to watch how the associates at one of these retailers speak to and treat their buying customers; it’s easy to see they offer a pleasant shopping experience. It’s the kind of experience you deserve.
Yes, at the stores where you can afford to shop, you deserve the same exact kind of treatment and shopping experience that a store like Barneys offers its customers.
Just because you’re making $10 an hour (or less) doesn’t mean you deserve a shopping experience that’s any different than the one at Nordstrom. And you shouldn’t settle for less, either.
Look, we all like nice things, but is it worth losing your dignity over? Are you really that desperate for a PS4, a tablet or a toy? Are you seriously willing to push over someone smaller than you just so you can grab a deal? Trust me on this one: you deserve better!
So what do you do next Black Friday? Boycott it? Not completely. You could simply alter your shopping practices and set a higher standard for how you’re treated as a consumer. Refuse to accept anything less than a pleasant shopping experience. Instead of diving head-first into the Black Friday madness, you could:
1. Shop online or via a mobile app. Many of the same deals offered in the stores are also offered online. The biggest inconvenience is that you’ll have to stay up late to take advantage of the sales, which often go into affect at midnight (sometimes east coast time, sometimes west coast), but it’s better than being trampled in the electronics department.
2. Shop in-store later in the day. If you’re not vying to get the latest television or smart phone, then why bother joining the masses and going when the store opens? One year, my Black Friday deal of choice was a $120 jewelry armoire on sale for $60. I felt confident that not a whole lot of other people would be coveting that same deal. I didn’t know for sure, but it was a risk I was willing to take. So I slept in and drove out to Sears when I was damn well ready, and sure enough, the armoire was there and so was a calm shopping experience.
3. Go without. It’s time that we as American consumers take a stand against this shitty Black Friday treatment. If the stores won’t offer enough sale product for everyone wanting to take advantage of it (including offering rain checks should stock be depleted), then fuck them. Seriously. Fuck. Them.
I’m not a crazed animal in need of these deals in order to survive, and neither are you. Don’t succumb to the temptations of these sales, and don’t be a pawn in whatever game those engaging in classism are trying to play. Shop where you are treated like a VIP. If a store won’t offer you the same shopping experience a Real Housewife gets at Saks, then don’t shop there anymore. The $20 you spend is as important as the $2,000 she is spending, and you deserve to be treated just as well as she is. Don’t give your hard earned money to people who treat you like cattle on Black Friday. You deserve better.