Finding the best deals

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You push back from the table, stuffed to the brink with turkey and dizzy from tryptophan. Now that Thanksgiving dinner is done, the question remains: Do you stay up until midnight to brave the crowds at Best Buy, or wait until Monday to buy that iPad online?

This year, Black Friday marked a significant progression in the trend of mass shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. With major chains like Wal-Mart opening as early as 8p.m. on Thanksgiving itself, shoppers were offered the earliest start to the tradition to date.

And for those who decided to stay in, retailers continued the tradition of offering significant discounts the Monday after Thanksgiving, also known as Cyber Monday. However, many companies hastened virtual sales by offering Black Friday discounts both instore and online.

The year 2011 saw 11.4 billion dollars in sales during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, with an additional 1.25 billion in sales on Cyber Monday, according to CNN. The question remains: Will these individual days retain their appeal?

Senior Byron Garcia said, “Cyber Monday is no longer just Monday. Black Friday is no longer excluded to non-Internet based areas of commerce. They are quickly becoming one single thing: the start of Christmas.”

“I like to go out with the masses because sometimes you stumble upon something and I can often avoid shipping costs,” said Jordan Freeman ‘13. “I also do some online shopping for other smaller deals that I can get. So I think there are pros and cons so I see both institutions staying.”

Junior Hillary Maxson thought discounts could be found elsewhere: “I have never been Black Friday shopping in my life. If you want a real deal, go shopping after Christmas. That’s where the real deals are at.”

On Nov. 27, The Mirror conducted an anonymous survey of 102 students concerning these shopping traditions. Survey questions were specific to whether or not students had shopped on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and how much they spent on each day.

Of the students surveyed, 56 percent did not spend money on either day. Those who responded as not spending anything were evenly distributed as male and female.

Forty-four percent of students surveyed said that they had spent money due to sale prices on one or both of these days. As with those who did not spend, the sex of respondents was also evenly distributed. The total amount spent by this group of students came to approximately 11,000 dollars.

Of the 45 students who made purchases on these days, 34 spent more on Black Friday. Twenty-six of these students spent solely on Friday, making no Internet purchases the following Monday. The total amount spent on Black Friday alone by those surveyed came to almost 7,900 dollars.

Of the same 45 students who made purchases, 11 spent more on Cyber Monday. Within this group, 9 students shopped only on Monday. The total amount spent on Cyber Monday alone of those surveyed amounted to over 3,000 dollars.

So what about the people who didn’t shop at all?

Some may have tried. “I went to the mall for about 20 minutes on Black Friday,” said Juliana Basset ‘14. “With the amount of people in all of the stores it was hard to find what I was looking for I so just gave up and left.”

Others avoided it all together: “… I stayed home, relaxed, and avoided all the madness,” said Deidre Simms ‘13.

Black Friday began as a tradition in the 1960s, followed by Cyber Monday in 2005. With constant new ways to offer discounts and more products to buy, the future may hold a new name for these shopping holidays.

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