EDITORIAL: Don't make Black Friday a dark day for everyone
Our View: Our tips for a responsible, safe Black Friday experience.
1. Shop locally.
You may not know it, but local businesses have Black Friday sales too. For those products available at local stores, you can support the local economy by making local businesses your Black Friday destinations. You can go to the Life & Arts section of OUDaily.com to find local deals for Friday.
It may be a little more expensive than shopping the sales at national chains, but it’s worth it to keep your money in the area and to support local businesses. It’s economically responsible while still saving you money.
But if you really need to visit big chain stores for products you can’t get from local stores, choose a store with better practices than Walmart.
Walmart employees across the country are planning protests and strikes on Black Friday to urge the company to provide better benefits, more stable work hours and better hourly wages.
So choose another store and, if your planned savings have left you with extra cash, donate to the striking workers in their quest for better treatment.
2. Spend time with family.
Despite what advertising would have you think, Thanksgiving is a holiday about family — however you interpret that word. What’s it’s not about is scarfing down Thanksgiving dinner and then bundling up to go stand in line outside a department store at 8 p.m. while fighting off the tryptophan.
It’s the pinnacle of Christmas Creep, the insidious forward march of the Christmas season. It was one thing when stores started stocking Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. It’s another thing entirely when Christmas shopping invades the very day of Thanksgiving.
In short: Leave Thanksgiving alone. It’s a holiday in it’s own right, and an important chance to rest and bond with family members (who, as a student, you may not have many chances to see anymore).
Even forgetting about the consumers, this forward creep of Black Friday is unfair to the many students working retail or at any store that opens so early. If you work at one of these locations, chances are you are required to work Black Friday. With the sales starting so early Thursday night, students have practically no options for travelling home to see their parents and then making it back to Norman in time for their shift.
3. Don’t be crazy.
You’ve probably heard the stories about shoppers being trampled at early morning sales or fights breaking out over Tickle Me Elmos. Don’t be that person. Nothing you’re buying this weekend could possibly be worth attacking someone over. And it’s certainly not worth harming yourself to get the best deals on that flatscreen or coat.
If you’ll be in Oklahoma for your Black Friday shopping, we have an even more important word of caution: Don’t forget, this is the first such weekend with the open-carry policy in place. Please, don’t do anything to prove the law’s opponents right.
4. Check out Cyber Monday.
If you’re not up for the craziness of Black Friday, would rather spend that night with your family or don’t think you can act like a sane adult when you get around such good deals, you should consider Cyber Monday instead. This is the day, on the Monday after Thanksgiving, when business translate their huge savings to their online inventory and when online-only businesses join the fray.
But choosing this route also has its drawbacks. Online purchases that don’t involve products already in the state (which will be the majority of what you would buy on Cyber Monday) don’t give sales tax to Oklahoma.
This lack of taxes may sound like a good thing to your pocketbook, but it certainly isn’t helping public education or other vital services the state already has trouble paying for.
5. Be nice to sales associates — they’re just as tired as you.
So you woke up at an obscene hour of the morning, stood in line for several hours, crammed through a crowded store and wrestled your chosen bounty away from other shoppers. Or maybe you’ve been at it since just after swallowing the last bite of turkey the night before. Now all you want to do is make your purchase as quickly as possible and go home.
Your distress is understandable. But whatever delays or inconveniences you experience, it’s not the fault of those working at the store. They woke up just as early as you and still will be there long after you leave. They put themselves through intense stress and sleep deprivation just to help you get to your discounted goods.
So even if it takes the last of your energy, treat them like a human and give them a smile.