Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How #Walmart and the Internet have ruined my Black Friday traditions!

Oh Black Friday! How I love thee...ye...you?! Seriously. I do a lot of shopping through the year, but I FINISH (well mostly) on Black Friday. It is my big triumphant shopping day of the year...usually...or at least it was before Walmart and the Internet (darn you Cyber Monday!) ruined it for me.

Let me explain by first talking a little bit about "Black Friday" shopping the Beckee's Deals way. (Some of this explanation is reposted from one of my Black Friday posts from last year!)

I have, for YEARS, been a huge Black Friday Shopper and usually have done all my shopping for Christmas on Black Friday (well I do end up getting a stocking stuffer or 2 after). During my husband's residency the last 5 years, he has often been working on Black Friday (Which really was the first thing to ruin Black Friday before Walmart or the Internet stepped up to the plate). In spite of his work schedule, most years I still managed to get in a few REALLY early morning (and late night Thanksgiving) deals before he left for work. I love it...Love my Black Friday Adventures.

Here is my take on how to do Black Friday! When my newspaper comes on Thanksgiving morning, I am like a kid in a candy store! I sit down on my bed with the Macy's parade playing and the food already cooking in the kitchen and I whip out the ads. I go through and circle the GREAT deals I would LOVE to get in each ad-taking special note of the door busters. I write a list of each store, what door busters I would love to have and what time that store opens for their door buster sales. (BEFORE Thanksgiving, I sit down with my husband and we write up a list of who we need to buy for and what we think we might want to get them.)

Before I go on, I must note that already in my plan, the Internet and Walmart have interfered. First, the Internet now posts the Black Friday ads early so I lose that excitement and the anticipation of waiting for and devouring the Thanksgiving day ads. Oh I know it means I can plan ahead, but frankly I think that is overrated! :)   AND that is not all...Walmart you dirty beast! Now you open up for your Black Friday ads on Thursday night?! Really? On the Holiday? Oh and don't think I am forgetting all of Walmart's friends (competitors...) that ALSO open up during the evening/middle of the night hours. Sure, that gives me the chance to shop before my husband (that trouble maker) has to go in to work, but come on! When do I get to hang out with the family, and when do I sleep (I can answer that one-I sleep on Black Friday afternoon!)

Moving on with my Black Friday plan. Next, I compare the 2 lists I have made (the one with who we need to buy for and the one with the best prices and the times the stores open) and prioritize-are there specific items from my list of gifts I am looking for that are great deals somewhere on sale? What Door busters do I really want and are they at a place that usually has a ton of the items (like Walmart usually does here) or a place that limits the number to the first 25 (like Nebraska Furniture Mart)? Basically I look at what my odds are of getting what I want at the stores and PRIORITIZE.

Once I have prioritized and listed which items I actually want to get and at which store they will be sold, then I look at the times the stores open in the morning and write up a plan of action as to where to go first, second, etc.
Here is another place Walmart has stepped in and ruined my traditions. How? Two words: Price Matching. Oh Price Matching how I love and loathe you! Sure you save me more money and make it more convenient to get everything is one place, but really-those are some INSANE crowds and lines!! Wow...

Growing up in Utah, my mom and I would Black Friday shop each year and I LOVED it! We had adventures planning and carrying out the plan. We would do things like drag my teen sister along so we could get enough door busters and we would go store to store dropping off family members to try to get the best stuff at each store (BEFORE we all had cell phones). We would socialize in the long lines, make new friends and fight for the items we wanted! I LOVED our adventures, and I seek after them year to year still...

However, a lovely little thing on the Internet (adventure ruiner!) has arrived in force over the past years that makes it almost too convenient for me to get the same or better deals without leaving my laptop! That would be "Cyber Monday." More and more places have their weekend sales ONLINE (door busters and all) and "Cyber Monday" just seems to grow exponentially from year to year.

To quote Belle (from Disney's Beauty and the Beast), "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell" And friends, I want that adventure OUT of my House on Black Friday! Curse you Walmart and the Internet for making my adventures harder to come by, and Walmart's Price matching policy this year with Retroactive Price matching is stepping it up again! It will make it even more convenient to do all shopping there!

Sigh...I guess if Walmart and the Internet keep making the shopping so easy and convenient I will have to seek adventure elsewhere...maybe I should try bungee jumping?!