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Staying In The Black Friday: A New Holiday We ALL Need!

The Kardashians, 90% of our films and the recent Karen movement... the U.S. has given us many weird and wonderful trends. Today though, we thought we'd talk about something we’ve definitely adopted from the U.S.

... the Black Friday shopping "holiday".

On the face of it, it doesn’t sound so bad. For years, corporations held us ransom over the festive period. They fixed prices with their iron grip to ensure we spent top dollar on this season’s chase products and the latest fads. So much so, that when the first Black Friday rolled round and teased consumers with big discounts a month ahead of the big day... what did we do? We raised our credit cards as one!

FOMO

But, let’s enhance our calm for a moment and consider the flipside of the fire sale. The truth about Black Friday is that the event is NOT doing us any favours, in fact, it’s the opposite. Empowered by the fear of missing out, it's artificially engineered to amp us into a frenzy of panic buying.

Designed to sell us things we neither need nor, in most cases, even want, Black Friday is like a rogue silent auction. Cunning marketeers use psychology to engineer an atmosphere of alarm. Everything about Black Friday centres around count downs, timers, and dwindling numbers. The event, which has stretched into half a week now, is not much better than a bait-and-switch. Promises of huge discounts draw us into the firing line and then it’s everyone for themselves. Before we know it, their algorithms hook into us and BOOM… we’re in the red!

So, did you get that shiny new PS5 at 50% off? Probably not! But once those countdowns start, it’s hard to walk away without a new dinner set, a smart watch and a subscription to What if? Magazine.

And Breathe…

Don’t fret, there is a better way to face the madness of Black Friday. We can opt out and go with ‘Buy Nothing Day’ instead! Of course, not everyone has a cast-iron will, so powering down the router may not be an option for everyone. And so with the human condition in mind, please allow us to present our guide to ‘Staying in the Black Friday’:

  1. Make a list

As we’re simple creatures, the best way to avoid bashing the ‘buy it now’ button (like the kick button on Street Fighter 2) is to set some boundaries. Think about the things you need. If you haven’t got a dinner set, a smart watch or a subscription to What if? Magazine and feel the need to rectify the situation, just add them to your list (before the countdowns begin!). OK, take off the magazine because I made that up, but you get the idea. Now, keep it short and when the klaxons sound, stay true to the list.

  1. Think beyond the Black

Think Green.

Sure, you may be prone to the odd splurge, but you can always send stuff back, right? Well, you should know that around 30% of returned goods aren’t resold, but are rather thrown away. So if your big plan is to ship your guilty conscience back to the sender... all you’re doing is paying for those goods to have an all-expenses-paid return trip. And guess what, it’s old Momma Nature who’ll pay the price.

  1. Go Good or Go Home

Ok, so if you’re going to indulge then at least make sure your money is going to the right places. Black Friday is such a thing these days that EVERYONE will have some kind of offer on. If you’re going to splash the cash, let virtue be your signal.  By backing ethical and sustainable businesses, you’ll not only sate your wanton appetite, you’ll be helping out progressive industries. And finally, as we know from our excellent Individual Collectiveness blog post… if we’re all singing from the same song book, then we’re telling the money folks what we want to see in future.

  1. Step Away from the Powder Keg and Put Down the Match

You gotta be in it, to bin in. So, take some time away from the internet. You don’t need to cloister yourself away for the whole day. But every second you spend away from a screen, is one less opportunity for the marketeers to conduct their psychological warfare on you. Go on, don’t feed the frenzy. It’s not real. Draw something. Cook something. Create something. Donate something. Buy Nothing.

  1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

It can feel crappy to miss out. We don’t want you to feel bad for buying things. But by opting for ‘Buy Nothing Day’ you’ll be making our planet safer, better and easier for everyone. You’re not a loser because you missed out on 30% off a Toffee Apple Maker, you’re a hero. 

There we have it, some sanity ahead of the coming madness. If you have any ideas on how to ‘Stay in the Black Friday’… we would love to hear them. Now remember it’s only polite to share.

 

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